Birthdays, anniversaries, and other circled dates on the calendar remind us of past memories and those yet to be made. Among the routine of every day, special dates give us something to look forward to, to anticipate; a time to make memorable moments. But let’s also not forget how memorable everyday moments can be as well.
April in my world brings a plethora of special dates-typically Easter and so many birthdays abound. It’s an opportunity to make special memories around special people and events with importance in our lives. But everyday moments can often bring about the same specialness-if only we are present and aware enough to experience them.
Much of memory making comes from being fully present in the moments we want to capture. Younger people have a proclivity to capture anything and everything in a photo or selfie and then broadcast it to the world. While that may be fun and helpful in many ways, if we are only focused on capturing the best picture, we may lose truly seeing and encoding the moment in our memory.
A study years ago demonstrated those who take more pictures have a lesser memory of an event. We’d tend to think the opposite was true, but when we fully experience a moment instead of just snapping it onto a camera, we can fully remember it better. Yes, the picture may jog our memory, but really experiencing it encodes it more fully into our memory.
For me, it comes down to balance, like most of our memory habits. One of my focuses this year is to strive to be more fully present. On my other blog, I wrote a series on how I’m trying to #BePresent and am striving toward this in all I do. However, I love photography and my new camera is a new favorite toy.
Yet while snapping away recently, I realized how marking a memory comes more than from a picture. It’s about the moment, the people, the feelings and their impact in our lives that matter. Yes, the picture may help evoke a moment, but the memory needs to be made in our hearts and minds first.
Just having returned from time away and sharing special days with those I love has reinforced my goal to be even more present in the everyday. Memorable moments stem from both the every day and the special to bind our lives and memories together.
Look around today. What people, events, or stolen moments can we truly be present with to experience more fully? How will we remember and how will they shape our days and futures? How can we plan for a special day for ourselves or others that we can circle in anticipation of future memories to be made?
Life is full of moments both routine and remarkable. Let’s be present and focus on what is happening in our small little corners of the world today. Circled special days are wonderful to look forward to, but let’s not miss the small moments that make up the fabric of our lives. It’s in these where we make all our moments memorable.