I think memory-keeping is magic. Memory-keeping (or preserving photos and memories in a tangible way) is great for you, great for kids, and great for families. How many ways are there to spend your time? How many of those ways help kids and families while at the same time allow you personal growth and even therapeutic effects? As we take a good look at personal growth during this month’s #familyhistoryfriday articles, you will learn surprising reasons why memory-keeping is at the top of my personal growth to-do list. And, of course, I’ll help you get starting DOING IT with simple and straightforward solutions.
Why Memory-Keeping is Good for YOU, the Memory-Keeper
In a world that is far too fast-paced for our own good, it’s easy to get caught up in #lifehacks. We are a microwave society–we don’t want to take the time to “heat something up,” so to speak. We want to push a button and have what we want in seconds.
Awww, EIGHT seconds?! Can’t they make anything faster than a microwave?!” -Homer J. Simpson
What we lose in this instant gratification culture is ourselves. When we don’t make time to stop, to think, to feel, to sit, to engage, and to reminisce, we don’t even connect with our own hearts. And that’s why memory-keeping is especially needed and especially good for us today!
We learn from the article “Define Your Dash” that there are personal benefits to taking the time to sit down and reflect on your life:
Personally, you’ll benefit from the practice of reflecting over your life, collecting your thoughts, and making sense of your experiences. The very act of writing things down is therapeutic; it can provide a sense of purpose and control. It may also reveal patterns in your life, increase your gratitude, foster a stronger sense of self, and even make you happier and more successful in your daily life.” (Define Your Dash)
Personal Growth from Memory-Keeping
Memory-keeping has also been shown to reduce stress as well as provide healing and act as a therapeutic coping method. Photos, in fact, have been shown to increase happiness. The act of looking back on good times actually increases happiness NOW. To get happy, re-live happy times!
The fact is, in our push-a-button society we are drawing further and further away from one of the simplest things that will bring us peace: our own photos and memories. Yes, it takes some time to sit down and go through photos, preserve them in hardbound books or scrap pages, and write down thoughts and memories. But that’s the point. We need the process of memory-keeping. We need to make time for ourselves to do it.
Pushing a button is great and all, but taking time to just be with my own memories, my own story, my own experience gives me not just a photo book but all the benefits of memory-keeping described above. I am a regular memory-keeper, and every time I sit down with my photos and tell their stories, I feel like I’m making sense of my life. I feel happiness, gratitude, and perspective.
Memory-Keeping is Good for Kids and Families
Putting your photos and memories to paper is telling your story, whether that’s your own personal story or your family’s story. Bruce Feiler, author of “The Secrets of Happy Families,” sums up several scientific studies in this single, profound statement: “Knowing more about family history is the single biggest predictor of a child’s emotional well-being.”
Wow. The one thing most responsible for a child’s happiness is knowing where they come from and feeling that they belong.
So not only does taking the time to preserve your photos and memories (stories) make YOU happier, lower stress, and engender feelings of gratitude, but it turns out it does basically the same thing for your kids and your family as a whole.
And this is why I think memory-keeping is magic.
How to Become a Memory-Keeper
I’ve been teaching people how to actually BECOME memory-keepers for over 13 years now! I’ll share with you a few of my suggestions and tips and secrets. Explore these links and to find which ones speak the most to you.
- Photo Organization Helps
- Ways to Find or Make More Time
- Ten Memory-Keeping Tips plus extra suggestions for success
- Dear Burned-Out Scrapbooker: four memory-keeping solutions (digital family yearbooks, digital scrap pages, paper scrapbooking kits, and easy pocket pages)
- How I Stay Caught Up Preserving My Photos and Memories (digital scrap pages; video how-to)
- Simple Photo Books (video)
Come back to #familyhistoryfriday next week when I show you my ultimate weapon for memory-keeping even if you’re overwhelmed by how many pictures you have and/or you’re short on time.
Please don’t forget that you can always contact me if you have questions or need help! I want to change the world one photo at a time!
- Family Search Blog. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/define-dash-start-writing-personal-history-52stories-project-2/
- Wise, Jennifer. (2017). Evolve. Retrieved from http://www.livegrowgive.org/creating-family-stories/
- Wise, Jennifer. (2015). Life Tales Books and Personal Publishing. Retrieved from https://lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com/2015/06/why-taking-photos-increases-happiness.html
- Wise, Jennifer. (2017). Life Tales Books and Personal Publishing. Retrieved from https://lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com/2017/12/i-regret-making-that-storybook-said-no.html
- Wise, Jennifer. (2018). Life Tales Books and Personal Publishing. Retrieved from https://lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com/p/contact-me.html
- Wise, Jennifer. (2018). Life Tales Books and Personal Publishing. Retrieved from https://lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com/p/how-to-make-it-easy.html
- Wise, Jennifer. (2018). Life Tales Books and Personal Publishing. Retrieved from https://lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com/p/need-time.html
- Wise, Jennifer. (2018). Life Tales Books and Personal Publishing. Retrieved from https://lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com/p/photo-organization-helps.html
- Wise, Jennifer. (2018). Life Tales Books and Personal Publishing. Retrieved from https://lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com/2018/02/dear-burned-out-scrapbooker.html
- Wise, Jennifer. (2017). YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnhNXC9sauE&feature=youtu.be
- Wise, Jennifer. (2018). YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWxplwaU3EU&feature=youtu.be