The Grandparenting Miracle – Expressed

Ever wish you could express the miracle of becoming a grandparent but just couldn’t find the right words? In this piece Debra Darvick manages to tell the story of the love-in-bloom transition beautifully. So make yourself a cup of hot tea and settle back to enjoy her piece. Then give your own grandkids an extra hug (or blow them an extra long-distance skype kiss!)

Tell us about your experiences becoming a grandparent in the comments. We always love to hear from you!

Music and Memory: Why You Should Be Listening to Mozart Right Now

Ever realize that, even though you might temporarily blank on your oldest child’s name, you can still recall every lyric of the popular songs of your teen years? This would come as no surprise to the researchers of a study on music and the aging process. In fact they have tested not only the positive effect of music on memory but what kind of music is most effective in boosting brain activity (Hint: Put on some Mozart and you can’t go wrong). So take a look at these findings and then fire up the old stereo for an enjoyable way to keep your brain working!

What kind of music do you like? Let us know in the comments.

Raising the Grandkids – With Rules

With life expectancy on the rise, many grandparents who live near their grandkids are healthy enough and in a position to help their (often overcommitted) kids raise the next generation. But that means grandparents have to help their kids discipline the grandkids as needed. If we’re consistent authority figures but insist on only spoiling them, we run the risk of helping produce a generation of spoiled brats, which doesn’t ultimately do them any good. And yet our standards for children’s behavior may not be the same as our kids’ rules. So here is a helpful guide for dealing with these issues and being a force for good in your grandkids’ development.

Let us know what you think in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Our Favorite Life Stories. What’s Yours?

When you’re getting ready to write your own LifeStories, we’ve found that for building momentum there is almost nothing as downright effective as spending some time wandering through memoirs of others. And, though most of us can’t claim to be a Hemingway (his “A Movable Feast” is rightfully included in the Amazon editors’s top 100 Life Stories of all times list), we can pick up hints on the best way to include details about our lives (which you will soon discover is among the most important keys to memoir writing).

Of course, here at LifeJourneys Media, we do have our favorites, all of which express well the joys and sorrows of a life well lived:

Our Top Five include:
• “The Story of My Life” by Helen Keller
• “Night” by Elie Wiesel
• “A Movable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway
• “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank… and
• “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt

We can’t resist adding another personal favorite: “The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt,” which with great candor reflects the core values of the beloved first lady and humanitarian. Note: Her childhood experience of her father’s death is unforgettably poignant.

By the way, if you are wondering what the difference is, though commonly used interchangeably, a memoir typically focuses on part of a life, say Frank McCourt’s compelling childhood as told in “Angela’s Ashes,” whereas an autobiography embraces the entire life. One fine example: Katherine Graham’s “Personal History,” which takes the reader from the famous publisher’s earliest memories all the way to retirement.

What is your favorite memoir or autobiography? Tell us in the comments

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