I Look to Her — Why Documenting Our Lives is Essential

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Earlier this month FTD contacted me with an opportunity to send a bouquet of flowers to one of my favorite ladies in order to celebrate their #Ilooktoher campaign. This was a great opportunity to surprise my grandmother and an even better opportunity to spend some time writing about her and how she’s inspired me to become the woman I am today.

rukristin on why we document our own lives

My grandma is a fabulous human and easily one of my favorite people on the planet. She’s a lot of people’s favorite person — but she’s my grandma, and that has always made me feel special (#birthorderproblems). She just celebrated her 90th birthday in October and I can’t wait to see her when I go home next month. She has the best stories, and tells them to you in just the best way possible.

You know how in olden days stories would get passed down from generation to generation through word of mouth? And there were always those people who were master storytellers, who could recall details and paint vivid pictures for their audience? That’s my grandmother. Always telling stories. Always talking about adventures.

rukristin on why we document our own lives

As a feminist scrapbooker, documenting the lives of women is one of my highest priorities. I document my life because I long to know more about the people who came before me and I want to provide that same knowledge to those women who come after me.

One of the reasons documenting my life (and all of it’s amazing adventures) is so important to me is because of my grandmother. I grew up listening to her incredible stories and flipping through thousands of photos taped into albums. I want to be able to tell my grandkids (and whoever else is listening) about all the adventures that I’ve had throughout my life that have molded me into the person I am today.

rukristin on why we document our own lives

This amazing woman grew up on an onion farm, traveled all over the continent, worked in a WWI factory, and had more adventures than anyone could count. She’s lived in the city, the country, and the suburbs. She went to photography school, eloped on Halloween, and crashed her dad’s Model T while racing her brothers around a mountain.

rukristin on why we document our own lives

She founded her own girl gang back in the 1970s (which she’s still attending weekly meetings) called the In-Between Club. A place for women to come together to learn from each other, go on travel adventures, and give back to the community. #Squadgoals amiright?

rukristin on why we document our own lives

I’m working on getting her story down in a more lasting, more organized form. This past November I spent an afternoon sitting in her kitchen chatting about how the world has changed over the years, what it’s been like to meet and know different people, and all the amazing adventures she’s had over the years.

I took down about two hours of audio and thirty or so notecards. I asked her to find me some photographs and memorabilia for when I return later next month. I’m excited to see what she’s pulled out for me.

Today I’m asking you to think about documenting your life. Document your adventures. Document your home. Document your feelings. Document your family. Document who you are so that when other people want to know your stories — you’ve already written them down.

rukristin on why we document our own lives

Flowers are a great way to treat a special lady in your life, and thanks so much to FTD for helping me celebrate grandma with these fabulous flowers  — her favorites — in a purple vase that she loves, hand-delivered by a local florist. #Ilooktoher