MYTHBUSTING: Memory-Keeping Myth #3

I’m busy.  I bet you are, too.  Do you say the things I say:  “things are crazy,” “my schedule is packed,” or “I’m trying to keep my head above water!”?  Are you too busy to preserve your photos and memories?  Well, the next memory-keeping myth we’re going to bust has to do with TIME.

Myth #3

“I don’t have time to preserve my photos.”  Honestly, there are so many things to address with this myth that it’s hard for me to know where to start.  But I think I can bust this myth in two parts.

First, at its core, this myth pre-supposes that memory-keeping takes a lot of time.  This is not necessarily true.  It can take a lot of time, of course, but it doesn’t have to.  There are memory-keeping methods that don’t involve much time, like just putting photos in a store-bought album, or the {pocket scrapbooking} method I mentioned before, or {digital memory-keeping using a template}.

Memory-keeping is just preserving memories and photos.  That’s it.  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  In fact, memories and photos are so precious and important that it should be something EVERYONE can do, no matter how busy they are!

Second, you just might {have more time than you think}.  The average American has 37 discretionary hours each week.  The average American spends {5-6 hours per week on Facebook}, and {30 hours per week watching TV}.  Now, I’m not saying that Facebook or TV are bad, but what I am saying is that you might have more time than you think.

Leisure Time and Memory-Keeping

One of my favorite activities when I’m stressed or tired is watching TV.  It’s because I can turn my brain off and escape to another world.  I put my life and my problems on hold for an hour and go somewhere else.

But guess what!  That’s what memory-keeping does, too. 

Memory-keeping can remove you from the everything-went-wrong-today and actually transport you somewhere else.  You can escape to that beach in Cancun where the water was a stunning turquoise and the seagulls stood at the water’s edge like little soldiers.  You can see your grandparents again!  You can see your 20-year-old back when his huge grin was all cheeks.  You can go back to the birthday party, the wedding, the family reunion.  You can go back to first dates and college and first days at home with a new baby.  You can even go back to when you fell in love.

You can take a break from today by visiting yesterday.

{Recalling happy memories has been shown to increase happiness in the present!}  So why not take some of your leisure time to record memories and preserve photos?

The act of sorting through photos and recording memories is grounding and therapeutic.  So it’s good for you while you do it, and then it’s good for you again when you go back to those albums or books and enjoy them.

“Too Busy”

I know some people really are busy.  Some of us care for aging parents or disabled children.  Some of us work two jobs.  But for most people, it can be wise to take a look at what “busy” really means.  I recently read {this article}, “Selective is the New Smart,” which I highly recommend because it gave some excellent perspective on how we look at “busy.”  Is it really an accurate measure of our value, our progress, our accomplishments?  Or is filling our time just a habit?  With the 24 hours we’re each given in a day, wouldn’t it be smarter to prioritize and be selective in the things we choose to use our time for?

Time Helps

If you need to start finding time to preserve your experiences, photos, and stories, one of the biggest things to remember is that we don’t find time.  We make it.  Here are a few ideas for making time for memory-keeping:

  • Work with someone.  You can preserve photos and memories with a friend, sibling, parent, or child.  If you’re an extravert and gain energy from others, this is especially helpful.  If you’re likely to keep an appointment with someone else more than you’re likely to keep one with yourself, working with someone else should do the trick.
  • Create a habit.  Working on memory-keeping every Friday night or every Sunday afternoon for an hour or two will give you the time you need.
  • Find a group, or create one*.  Some people work best in a social setting.  Putting something on your calendar helps you make it a priority.  It’s generally not very hard to find within your group of friends a few people who also need time for memory-keeping and would enjoy doing it with you.
  • Set aside time.  If you’re an introvert, like me, set aside quiet time to preserve memories and photos.  For me, memory-keeping is almost like meditation.  It’s calming, centering, and gives me a sense of peace and well-being.  If you’re not an introvert, though, you might not do memory-keeping as well alone as you would with other people, so see what works best for you.
  • Take a good look at how you spend your time.  Where do your 37 discretionary hours go each week?  Where could you cut back?  Where could you be more intentional?  Could you use some of your leisure time for the vital work of preserving photos and memories and stories?

Don’t Just Take My Word For It

If you don’t know yet how beneficial memory-keeping can be, give it a try.  The centering, grounding effect I mentioned before is the real deal.  Memory-keeping raises self-esteem, is a stress reliever, and gives perspective and a sense of purpose.  Time is fleeting, memories fade, and things change, so memory-keeping isn’t a good thing to postpone.  We somehow always find time for important things.  Maybe realizing the importance of memory-keeping is the key.

When I hear someone say, “I don’t have time to preserve my photos,” my gut reaction is, “You don’t have time NOT to!”

~Jennifer #familyhistoryfriday

*I host local and online groups so people can get together for memory-keeping.  I have more information on how to attend {here}.


References

  1. BayArt. (2017). Retrieved from http://bayart.org/selective-is-the-new-smart/
  2. Duke, K. (2014). Capturing Joy. Retrieved from http://www.kristendukephotography.com/why-taking-photos-increases-our-happiness/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-taking-photos-increases-our-happiness
  3. D’Onfro, J. (2016). Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-time-do-people-spend-on-facebook-per-day-2016-4
  4. Hinckley, D. (2014). NY Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/average-american-watches-5-hours-tv-day-article-1.1711954
  5. Vanderkam, L. (2013). CBS Money Watch. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/you-have-more-free-time-than-you-think/

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Jennifer Wise

consultant at Heritage Makers
I'm Jennifer, and I'm passionate about connections.I enjoy helping people discover the very real benefits of preserving stories, photos, and memories because of the impact they have on children, families, and individuals. I blog weekly at www.lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com sharing tips, ideas, solutions, and inspiration, and I'm over at www.heritagemakers.com/jenniferwise, too. Learn more about me at the "About" tab.

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4 thoughts on “MYTHBUSTING: Memory-Keeping Myth #3

  1. Thank you for another fabulous post Miss Jennifer. It is so easy to let things consume the time that we have. We can choose to make time for important things or not.