I have always been passionate about preserving my family memories. I think it comes from being blessed with a happy childhood filled with many memories I didn’t want to forget. My mom instilled in me a love of journal writing and scrapbooking from a young age. This love transformed into a desire to learn more about a variety of memory-keeping topics such as photography, photo book creation, digitization, slideshows and video editing. It brings me enough happiness to start a business about it for crying out loud!!
I realize not everyone shares this passion, and that’s totally ok. Some of you might not even know what memory-keeping is (if this is you, click here)! For those of you who don’t understand why it’s a big deal, this blog post is for you. Why should you care about preserving your family memories? I’ll tell you.
Reasons you should care about preserving your memories
1. To help your kids remember
Childhood is a magical time of discovery and learning that shapes us into the adults we are today. Unless we consciously choose to remember our childhood memories, many of them fade just like old photos in a box. Remembering your childhood can bring a lot of joy and understanding. Sure, not all memories from childhood are happy, but some are! Have you ever smelled a scent that took you right back to a happy childhood memory? What about hearing one of your favorite songs as a kid? Do you still have the words memorized?
What if we had the ability to help our kids remember these magical childhood memories? What if we were able to record things that they aren’t able to for themselves? This is why memory-keeping is so important! We can help our kids cherish their childhood for years to come. Imagine how much fun it would be for them to look at pictures of themselves when they were babies! Stories of them as children could be easily remembered, savored, and shared for years to come. Memory-keeping enables us to give our children the gift of remembering.
2. To cultivate gratitude, peace and happiness
Let’s face it. We are surrounded by unhealthy distractions every single day. When we aren’t numbing ourselves with the instant gratification of TV, food, or one-click purchases, we’re caught in the infinite scrolling of social media where we solidify just how little we measure up to our “perfect” friends. Sometimes it feels like gratitude, peace, and happiness can be pretty hard to cultivate in these circumstances.
Memory-keeping inspires gratitude and encourages us to embrace the present. It centers us on what is most important: our families. Your family’s story is worth savoring. It is something to be grateful for, and something that can bring peace and happiness.
Taking the time to ponder, reflect, and write about our family memories can create space for clarity and inspiration. It can help us learn more about ourselves and help us endure difficult times of life. It can become a form of meditation, relaxation, and catharsis.
3. To carry on your legacy
You are creating a legacy. Right now. As we speak. And if it isn’t recorded in some way shape or form that is accessible to others, you will be forgotten within three generations. I know it sounds depressing, but once the youngest/latest person you will ever meet or that will ever remember you dies, that’s it. All that will last of your memory will be what has been written or recorded about you.
If you don’t record things about your family’s life, who will? I’ll tell you who. No one. Or someone who doesn’t know you as well as you do. Don’t you want to be the one who tells your story?
What will your legacy be? What will people remember about you?
4. To slow down and savor the little moments
Memory-keeping has a way of making us slow down and take time to remember the little moments of life. These are the little details that may seem insignificant now, but that will mean everything to you and your family down the road. These moments strung together (with some big moments in between) end up telling our story. Yet we often forget to remember these little details.
I went to the park with my son today and I wish I could have frozen it in time. The warmth of the sun paired with the enjoyable cool breeze. The sound of his giggling above the rustling trees and summer cicadas. The image of his cute little one year old teeth and wide eyes taking the whole world in while on a swing. Who knows… maybe I would remember this moment 40 years from now after my kids are all grown. But I’m not risking it!
5. To inspire you to accomplish more
Memory-keeping is a continuous two-part cycle. First, you do something worth remembering. Second, this leads you to want to document it. Then the cycle starts over. It may seem counter intuitive, but preserving your memories will actually inspire you to want to create more memories worth preserving. I can’t look at the photo book pages I made about when I ran the St. George marathon and not feel a desire to run another race.
When you are in a pattern of regularly preserving your memories, it also motivates you to look for more things to record in your day to day surroundings. Practice makes perfect. Documenting your family’s special moments helps you to find more things worth remembering.
6. To teach your kids
As a child, I was obsessed with learning about who my parents were when they were kids. I would beg them to tell me stories of when they were little. Part of me just wanted to prolong going to sleep. The other part of me was so intrigued by hearing about my parents when they were my age. I loved hearing details about who their friends were, what kind of clothes they wore, when they got in trouble, and what they were scared of.
Your kids will want to hear stories like these too – about their grandparents, about you, and even about themselves! Preserving your memories in the form of a journal or scrapbook can be a great way to teach your children important lessons that you’ve learned. Plus, they will most likely learn more from a story about you or someone else than a lecture about themselves.
7. To learn about your ancestors
Some may not consider doing family history work a form of preserving memories, but it totally is! Memory-keeping for or about your ancestors can provide great insights into who you are and who you want to become. Even learning about your parents or grandparents and then recording what you find out counts.
I have an aunt that put together a book a few years ago about her dad (my grandpa). It is a digital photo book she created where she compiled stories about my grandpa. There are stories in there that I had never heard before about his childhood, his parents, his jobs, and when he dated my grandma. It’s a great example of why this stuff matters. I’m grateful she put it together!
8. To help you plan for the future
George Santayana once famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Part of savoring your story is making sure that your future chapters are going to be awesome. Learning from your past allows you to create your very best future. Choosing to reflect on your past memories is a great way to help you know if you need to course correct. Keeping a planner or writing down to-do’s can be a great way to document the day to day and also assist you in planning for the future.
Those are our first eight reasons why you should care about memory-keeping. Did we miss any reasons? Why do you love to memory-keep? Let us know in the comments!
There are so many ways to start documenting your family’s story. Are you ready to start preserving your family memories? Read more here.