Have you ever wanted to make remarkable memories? But, every time you try, you feel stuck. You drum up creative plans. YET, the effort to execute equals overwhelm. In fact, at one of these activities, you issue a deep guttural snarl at the very ones you love.
“Stop complaining!!! We are trying to make memories!“
It takes coordinating pure chaos to create an activity that everyone will enjoy. What started out as a good idea to build bonds that last leaves you feeling the bonds alright … the bonds of bondage.
In the end, you’re not so sure you will get results. Your house is never clean enough, the idea never creative enough. So you give up. It is not worth all the hassle.
Creating beautiful memories should not be this hard, right? Right!
Remarkable memories the easy way!
My daughter has a sign that reads:
Please excuse the mess. We are making memories.
Did you know many variations of this sign exist on the internet? Many say our cat or dog are making memories. Here is another variation.
I noticed NO ONE said our goats are making memories. Goats always get the raw end of the deal. But that’s OK, we know goats are important. But, I digress.
Sorry, I can’t help it.
The point is the best memories unfold spontaneously in the middle of the mess. If you are like me, you nearly miss them. You are too busy competing with the professional event organizers.
Remarkable memories occur naturally
On this farm, we have it all. Every critter, from the cat, dog, chickens, kids (human and caprine) are creating a mess. If the sign is formulaic, then you would expect we have some amazing memories … and messes. And you’re right, we do.
I thought to create special memories, I needed to go above and beyond and create experiences or attend events. Imagine the chaos and effort it took to organize anything for six children. Plus, events with a large family quickly grew too expensive.
Guilt got the best of me. How could I create family traditions that would bond our hearts together? The answer was right before my very
eyes ears at the supper table. All I had to do was listen to my children chatter. They told stories about their day. Most included the animal’s shenanigans. I knew they were special memories because those stories have been told and retold over time. And, each time they bring laughter and joy. The key lesson is that meaningful memories exist in the every day. We just have to learn to notice them. Highlighting them in our communication helps cement them.
Messy memories are the best.
Did you notice I nearly missed the beautiful memories that were already taking place? And guess what? These memories were made right in the middle of the mess. Trying to plan the perfect activity was like swimming upstream.
My daughter’s sign reminds me that in the middle of the mess, the memories are unfolding, perfectly even naturally. The key is to slow down, even stop, and cherish those memories. Additionally, messes mean we are living life authentically. Since authenticity is all the rave the now, it is a win-win, right?
Pictures capture those special moments
This week we celebrate a milestone. My grandson, Sammy, turns two. Pictures help us savor the memories made since this little guy arrived on the scene. We have so many snap shots that capture his life unfolding. The simple act of reviewing the pictures and sharing them with each other highlights the meaningful memories we built.
Sammy was five days old in this photo. The photo was taken as he lay on the couch half swaddled in a blanket after a diaper change. It was not staged. There was no fancy set up.
You can see how much he has grown in this picture.
Most of the pictures we take involve Sammy living everyday life. It is an effort to savor the simple memories.
Share the memorable stories.
In my struggle to make remarkable memories, I nearly missed that they were already taking place. The children still tell stories at the dinner table. Story telling is a big part of our family. This practice happens most often at meals. However, visit the farm and you will hear someone sharing a lively story about their day. Eating meals together without the distractions of TV or other devices makes the table the most robust place to make and share memories. Eating meals together also enhances family well being while building memories.
This hilarious story made it to the dinner table recently.
Sammy is learning new words and phrases every day. Babble is now replaced with distinct words. We all applauded as he carefully articulated a new two syllable word, “Sun-shine”. He absolutely loves his team of cheerleaders as he tries out new phrases.
Uncle Zach seized the opportunity to teach him opposites. He taught the toddler the opposite of the word sun. Sammy did not miss a beat. He is a smart little lad. He said “Moon-shine” clearly. The roar of laughter only encouraged him to say it more. His mother was a bit mortified. We all figured it would be short-lived. Nope. This toddler is a near genius with the memory of a steel trap. The very next day grandma took him to the park, he proudly practiced his new word for all by-standers to hear. I can’t help but wonder what they thought as this tot proudly shouted “moonshine” at the top of his lungs as he played.
A quick recap
- Memories unfold in simple everyday moments. Planned events aren’t always necessary.
- Being present in the moment allows us to capture memories
- Use stories to cement memories
- Create settings (like the dinner table) to share memories via stories
- Capture memories with photos.
- Take time to review and share photos with loved ones
Are stories a big part of your life? I would love to hear how you savor meaningful moments in your life. Feel free to share in the comments below.