There were family sayings aplenty at the book launch party for Story by Story: 15 Projects to Write Your Family Legacy.
In a mini-version of the book’s Family Sayings project (#3), everyone wrote down a family saying on an index card. Then, turning it over, they answered some questions about their family saying. You can do it too. Here are some questions to consider:
● Who in your family says this?
● When or under which circumstances is this saying uttered?
● What are people’s reactions to this saying? Does everyone have the same reaction? Does it delight or annoy specific family members?
● How would you categorize this saying? Inspirational? Cautionary? Humorous?
● How does this saying serve you and your family?
● Would you like to change this saying to something else? If so, what and why?
Then, at the count of three, everyone shouted out their family saying. Go ahead! I loved when people shared their family sayings. Some were not so surprising, common across families. Sayings like: “Do unto others as you would have done unto you,” and “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Others were delightfully quirky with unique stories behind them. Sayings like: “Hit your head against the wall and holler help” (said by a mother to her children when they were bored and whined they had nothing to do).
● Life is awful* and people are jerks* (*substitute less savory words here) with the accompanying moral of the story: Concentrate on 15% of the people who are worth your time.
● It’s better to be unhappy with money than without it.
● Well, it doesn’t get any easier!
● Fresh yesterday!
Write your Family Saying story!
Selected Projects from the book:
Each project has five parts: a description, a list of benefits, how-to instructions, variations to adapt the project to other storytellers or situations, and an example from a finished project. Here are some examples!
Three-Question Springboard: Three questions to get you started. Page 31
List of Favorites: Simply a list of what you love. Page 35
Family Sayings: Anecdotes of your family’s repeated truisms, advice, and admonitions. Page 39
Captured Moments: Stories of a specific moment in time. Page 45
Gratitudes: What you are grateful for, why, and how you show it. Page 53
Soundtrack: A compilation of the music and sounds of your life. Page 71