Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another Testimonial to the Importance of Writing

I am always elated to find experrt references to the power of writing. I just discovered another that I would like to share:

In the November/December 2008 issue of AARP magazine, Dan Buettner's article "Find Purpose, Live Longer" discusses ways to get, or stay, connected with life at any age. "Finding that 'something more' in your life can mean a big health boost." Suggestions include "Keep Working," "Find your Flow," "Explore Religion," and "Volunteer," but of most interest to me was "Take Stock of Yourself." How? One important way is to keep a journal.

According to Gregory A. Plotnikoff, M.D. of Abbott Northwestern's Institute for Health and Healing in Minneapolis, writing in a journal can be a big help, especially after a major life change. "When a spouse dies, you retire, or your kids leave home, you interrupt your personal story. If you can figure out how this episode fits into the plot of your life, you'll be one step closer to seeing its purpose--and yours." Plotnikoff suggests writing at least thirty minutes per day. Write about crucial events in your life and how they made you feel. "Discovering purpose is like uncovering patterns. If you understand the first chapters of your life, you're in a better position to write the next chapters. We all need to be part of a bigger story."

Thanks, Mr. Buettner and Dr. Plotnikoff, for another reminder of the importance and power of personal writing. I've tried it, and it works.

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have a story.
It's not about me and yet I am the outcome, one of many outcomes actually.
You see when I got older and had a newly retired husband shifting about trying to find his way within the walls of our home I retreated to my room where I began to research the stories I had been told as a child about one grandmother and her place in history.
The rest is epic...
But I don't know how to tell the tale.
It's full of history, memorable persons of history who were known by family members who, themselves were not historic.
What I have in mind is a cross between War and Peace and Our Town.
Your reference to Old Town brought it once again to my mind.
There is an island in Maine between Orono and Old Town that bears the name of an ancestor.
So, the story, getting back on point, I would like to write would include volumes of newspaper stories of the day.
Amazing facts and amazing tales of the times.
But I don't know how to write it... and it haunts me.

Anonymous said...

I have cruised through this blog with enjoyment and hope. I have hot yet retired but am trying to think of how to keep my mind alert and do something useful, interesting and enjoyable. Thank you for your encouragement to write. I always feel I have nothing to say, but, as you point out the act of writing elicits thoughts you did not know you had.

I hope your recovery is swift and becoming less painful, and that you are beginning to enjoy your walks again.

In 2000 we landed in Chicago in a blizard and stayed for several hours until the plane was allowed to proceed. But it was the middle of the night and we saw little ecept the airport. It is a long way from Toowoomba, Australia.

Rhyl Dearden said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences of retirement. I have yet to take the plunge - for the second time. I did it 10 years ago because I was stale and the climate of my work-place had changed for the worse. Then a friend offered me some part-time work and it evolved over time to be a satisfying job, but now, as I get closer to 70 all the other things I do seem to be growing in importance.

I think I will take your advice and begin writing - as you say it clarifies the mind and often an idea emerges that I was not aware of until seeing it written.

Best wishes for your knees and I hope your recovery is complete.

Toowoomba is a long way from Chicago.

Terri Tiffany said...

It works!