The terms “Genealogy” and “Family History” are used interchangeably these days, and those words often make us think about photos like these, and people we never met who lived 100 years ago. Sure, these people influenced our family dynamic, but that’s all in the past, right?
Yes and no.
As you know from earlier #familyhistoryfriday posts this month here at Evolve: live.grow.give, knowing family stories and family history increases self-esteem and resilience and provides a sense of purpose and belonging. That definitely happens from knowing the way-far-back past, but it also happens from knowing the last-year past.
Did you know that studies show that recalling happy memories actually increases happiness in the present? It’s true!
So if you don’t have a lot of family stories from grandparents or great-grandparents, that’s okay! You can still create a sense of belonging and a source for increased happiness in your family right now by preserving current memories.
Family Stories Today
Telling today’s family stories is often called “memory-keeping” (or “scrapbooking” in some circles). It entails getting your photos out of digital form and putting them in print so they can be seen, held, and enjoyed. It’s where my motto, “Don’t let your babies grow up to be jpegs” comes from!
The flash drives and external hard drives and clouds that seem so all-important these days do have some merits, of course, but the most meaningful way to preserve your photos is in PRINT. That’s how you tell, share, and enjoy your family stories, your “family history” in the making. A CD just doesn’t do the same thing.
Enjoy Family Stories Now
We’re doing some home improvements in our house right now. My husband is working room by room. A couple of weeks ago, he came out of my son’s room and I asked how things were going. He said things were great, he was almost done, etc., but that it had taken him longer than expected. Before he moved a bookcase, he took all the books off the shelves, including scrapbooks (or memory books). He decided to open one of the scrapbooks and got completely caught up in memories and said he loved it because it made him really happy.
And there you have it. Enjoying your family stories right now is the whole purpose of memory-keeping. It’s a simple key to happiness that we just need to pull out of our pockets and use.
We’ll explore a lot more about memory-keeping and preserving current family stories in upcoming #familyhistoryfriday posts. And, you know, if preserving family stories or memory-keeping isn’t something you really know how to do or isn’t something you really enjoy right now, no biggie. I gotcha. Ideas, inspiration, time management tips, shortcuts, possibilities, solutions, the whole shebang. #icanhelp See you next week!