Usually we focus on recalling—and sharing—events from the past. Sometimes, however, we have the opportunity to preserve memories before things change. In fact, that’s why we keep travel journals and scrapbook about our children.
Times where we sense that we’re on the precipice of change are bittersweet. We know the moments are special and we want to live in the moment. On the other hand, we know the moments are fleeting. The latter makes the former difficult.
In his article, Keys to Handling Life’s Transitions, Robert Taibbi recommends “Think positive, think opportunity.” For memory-collectors, there is a great opportunity.
At such times of transition we have a chance to preserve memories before things change. Thinking about the things we want to share with loved ones and realizing which moments are the moments that matter help us drink in the “now.”
This resonates with me because our family is in transition. My house will soon be an empty nest. My husband’s sister and brother-in-law are retiring and leaving their parsonage. My in-laws are moving to a retirement community. My cousin has married off the last of her four children.
These transitions are normal passages of life. In a way, they make me feel warm and fuzzy. It’s the way things are supposed to be. But
occasionally all too frequently, the neurotic side of me makes itself known. I feel like I’ve been on an exhilarating roller coaster ride and we’re coming back to the station. I only wish I could get back in line to ride again.
Preserve Memories Before Things Change
At times like these, I like to go back to my grandmother’s idea of writing about “Things I Want to Remember….” It’s one of the first prompts offered in Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life. (You can also get the brainstorming sheet for this by subscribing to my newsletter.)
Grandma wrote short paragraphs about things she wanted to remember. Each one captured a small moment in time—such as watching her children at play. Using this idea not only allows you to preserve little memories before things change. It also allows you to communicate the little things that make of the daily rhythms of your life.
While I’m helping people pack up and move, I probably won’t have time to write deep introspective essays about how I feel. What I can do, however, is jot myself some notes. Maybe each one will turn out to be a story or vignette. Maybe it’ll just be a list. Stay tuned…..
Have you been able to preserve memories before things changed? If not, think about it. Make yourself a list.