A Five-Sentence Life Story

I wrote recently about the benefits of life review. Since I left full-time work in the summer of 2012, I have been thinking more about my past, that that seems to be leading to a time of life review for me. I recently read Remembering Your Story: Creating Your Own Spiritual Autobiography by Richard L. Morgan, and that has stimulated quite a bit of thought about the various stories of my life, how they combine to make a larger life story, and how that story connects with the grand story of God’s work in the world.

One of the exercises that Morgan gives is to “Write the story of your life in five short, concise sentences.” Here’s what I wrote (I didn’t manage conciseness, but no matter):

Brought up in a home of love and faith, I struggled to find myself and God. Having achieved some success at this, I married, became a father, and entered my chosen career in psychology. Through neglect and conflict, my wife and I destroyed our marriage. Chastened, I received support from friendship and a faith more aware of shortcomings. I found my voice anew in writing, teaching, and mentoring.

Having a five-sentence limit was helpful in focusing me on the essential elements of my story. The story doesn’t yet include the time since I left my job at Methodist University, largely because that narrative is still being formed (by me, by others, and most importantly by God). I encourage any of you who are interested in life review to write your own five-sentence life story. If you would like your five-sentence story posted on this blog, send it to me at bobritzema@hotmail.com.

Kent Hall, Kent State University--where I studied psychology.

Kent Hall, Kent State University–where I studied psychology.

About Bob Ritzema

I am a fourth-generation American of Dutch ancestry and am trained as a clinical psychologist. In 2012, I retired from Methodist University in North Carolina to return to . Michigan to help family, and, in 2023, I started again with a move to Milwaukee to be near my children. I maintain a part-time therapy practice. I can be reached at bobritzema@hotmail.com.
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