The lady giving the workshop explained what a Memoir was, the beneficial effects that writing our stories has on our health - memory improvement, ability to resolve conflicts, sense of value, reminiscing about our youth, passing on our life story to our family... and how to go about structuring our memoir writing - chronological, events, theme, before and after...
This was followed by two writing exercises - 5 minutes to summarise our life in a few sentences in a bullet point format, thinking about the past and how we got to be who we are today and the second exercise - 30 minutes to write up to 500 words about one or two of the given topics:
1) Which friend had the biggest impact on your life and in what way?
2) What was the first moment you felt truly grown up and independent?
3) How much was your first pay check and what did you do with it?
4) What do you regret not doing?
5) Is your retirement what you thought it would be like?
6) How did you meet your partner/husband/wife?
I started with topic 3, and because I still had time I went on to topic 6.
At the end some of the participants got to read their stories to the group, and I chose to read about how I met my husband, and the audience seemed to enjoy it too.
And since today is our 37th Wedding Anniversary, I'm relaying the story I wrote about how I met my husband.
|30 November 1980|
I met my husband when I accompanied a friend to the house of a Greek girl, when we both lived in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Alessa had invited a few friends for coffee, and even though I'd never tried Greek coffee I foolishly accepted one. It was so bitter and thick that I almost spat it out as soon as I sipped it!
I reached for the sugar bowl and put in 4 or 5 teaspoons of sugar. The young man sitting across from me jokingly said: "Do you want to be as sweet as me?"
He had just put the spotlight on me, a shy 19 year old, and I blushed as I felt many eyes on me.
- "What an idiot!!" I thought, and just ignored him.
I worked in a Bank, and was trying to save some extra money to go travelling to Brazil and the USA, so I started doing a couple of night shifts in the function rooms of the fancy Carlton Hotel, waitressing for company functions over the Christmas season.
One night I came across that same annoying young man working as a barman at the same function as myself.
He looked at me, smiled and said he remembered me. We chatted for a while and I found myself enjoying the conversation.
A couple of weeks later he invited me to lunch and we had a great time, and he wasn't as silly as I thought he was! In fact he was intelligent, hardworking and had a great sense of humour.
We got married 1 year after we started dating, still very young at 20 and 22 years of age, and today we celebrate our 37th anniversary.
|Our family - daughter Karina, her fiance Thomas, me, hubby Jose, son Michael, daughter in law Sara and grandson J - photo taken in Jan 2017 by Andrew Cranner (from Andrew Cranner photography).|