Remember when you were in elementary school and the teacher would hand you a worksheet with a couple of clip art images, a question like “What is your favorite spring memory?” and plenty of space to answer the question?
Sure, you do. And, though the images may be updated and the space provided is often a digital page on an iPad, it’s still happening today in our schools.
Why did teachers put students through these particular assignments? The purpose was two-fold.
One, it was meant for you to practice your sentence construction skills. What words to capitalize. How to use nouns and verbs. Where the punctuation goes.
Two, it was a challenge for your mind, memory and senses. Can you remember the details? Can you describe how things happened? Can you relate what you saw, heard or felt?
Even though you have outgrown those worksheets, it’s still a good exercise, even when the events are relatively fresh in your mind. Keeping a journal or diary where you put “your story” to paper can be therapeutic and provide a record of your life for loved ones when you are gone.
And while you probably would rather not think about the past year under the cloud of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s worth reflecting on this strange, horrible and yet sometimes uplifting experience.
Just like your elementary teachers, we’ll even provide you with a few writing prompts to get you started ...
How did your life change during the pandemic? How did those changes make you feel?
What was your favorite moment spent with your family?
Who were the people who helped you? How? What did you do to show them gratitude?
What did you learn about yourself and/or your community?
How did you pass the days? Did you find a new hobby or revisit an old one?
One day, when we’re beyond this pandemic, memories of this bizarre time will be a little less sharp, dimmed by time and softened by distance.
But if your children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren ask about 2020, you can dig out your journal and share your experience in something you hope they never endure.
Oh, and don’t forget to tell them about the toilet paper.