Life is a wonderful gift, especially when you can look back on it!

Do you have some memories that are truly joyous? Do they make you smile when you think of what happened? Or what about some memories that aren’t so pleasant? Do you also remember them and their effect on your life?

Big and small, happy and sad, all the milestones and special events in your life have helped shape you into the wonderful person that you are today. And not only that, but the events in your life provide fertile ground for writing your own memoir.

A memoir is a great way to preserve your stories and your legacy. However, if you’ve thought about writing your own memoir, chances are that you’ve also wondered what exactly you should write about. What should or could be included in your memoir?

Life Events

To get your creative juices flowing, here are 50 significant life events that you can use as inspiration for your own reflection and writing. I have grouped them into seven categories: school, family, work, life learning, hobbies, travel and history.

For all of these life events, try to remember and think about what happened, who was involved, where it happened, when it happened, why it happened and how. Not every event on this list will be applicable to you, but a good number of them will.

Just try to relax and enjoy your journey remembering many of the things you’ve done and experienced in this life. But take some notes if you can; it will help with your memoir writing later.

School

1. You attended school for the first time.

2. You made friends or a best friend at school.

3. You attended your favorite (or least favorite) class.

4. You got involved in a group or sport at school or after school.

5. You graduated from high school.

6. You graduated from college or university.

7. You took an important test.

Family, Friends and Relationships

8. You attended a significant family gathering.

9. You fought with a loved one or a family member.

10. You fell in love for the first time.

11. You met and fell in love with your future spouse.

12. You got engaged.

13. You got married.

14. You built a home life.

15. You had a baby, witnessed the birth of your child or adopted a child.

16. You added a pet to the family.

17. You got divorced.

18. You lost a loved one.

Work

19. You got your first job and your first paycheck.

20. You got a promotion.

21. You achieved something significant at work.

22. You got fired or lost a job.

23. You opened a business or made an investment.

24. You retired.

Life Learning

25. You moved out of your family’s home.

26. You accomplished something that took a lot of effort.

27. You discovered something about yourself.

28. You earned an award.

29. You overcame an obstacle.

30. You dared to do something that others around you considered to be unconventional.

31. You learned to do certain things by yourself.

32. You experienced a big failure for the first time.

33. You did something that changed your perspective.

34. You did something important for someone else.

35. You experienced something that made you rethink what you were doing.

36. You met someone who had a big influence on you.

37. You experienced an important religious or philosophical moment.

38. You suffered from an illness or cared for someone with an illness.

Hobbies

39. You learned how to do your favorite hobby.

40. You discovered your life’s passions.

41. You attended an important event.

42. You got involved in a club or organization.

43. You discovered your favorite nature spot or a connection with nature.

Travel

44. You took a family vacation.

45. You moved to another house, city or country.

46. You took a road trip.

47. You took your first trip abroad.

48. You met someone on a trip who changed your perspective.

History

49. You became aware of what was happening in the world or your community.

50. You witnessed or participated in an important moment in American history, such as World War II or September 11.

Additional Inspiration

Hopefully these 50 events will help you reflect on your life and jumpstart your memoir writing. But if you’re looking for even more ideas, advice and inspiration on commemorating your life events in your memoir, please check out Memoir Writing Made Easy.