They say that time passes quickly when you’re having fun, but it’s certainly true that if you don’t take the time to savour each precious moment of life, you can easily wake up one day and realise that the years have flown past, and you don’t have many memories to look back on aside from a constant blurred stream of days spent at the office or slumped down on the sofa, in front of the TV.
The ideal for everyone, but especially for parents, is to forge as many gold-plated memories as possible, and not just to forge those memories, but to hold onto them.
For the sake of ensuring that you have fond memories to look back on for years to come, consider the following tips for preserving those precious memories.
#1 – Take up a committed journaling practice
It seems like not too many people take the time to keep journals these days, which is a shame, considering the fact that journaling might be one of the best ways of preserving and solidifying your memories.
This is likely the cause for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, there’s some evidence that when we write things down, we process them psychologically, in a way that means we are better able to distill the fundamental elements of our experiences and store them as memories.
Secondly, there’s the simple fact that once we’ve written something down, we can revisit our written record later on, and read through pages of experiences that we might have forgotten.
Even for memories that are pretty fresh in our minds — such as our wedding days — we may forget various nuances. But if they’re written down, those memories are always accessible.
Thirdly, writing a journal can also help you to become a more grateful being, which is something that I personally happened to find very beneficial for my own life: Just being thankful for the good things that we already have in our lives, instead of always striving for more. There’s actually a pretty good motivational video on this very topic from Jay Shetty, which I would like to share with you here:
FYI: Journaling does not necessarily mean “old-fashioned hand-writing in a book of paper”. Journaling can also mean documenting your days by taking pictures, writing a list of things you’re thankful for and adding ONE item each day, or even painting a daily picture together with your kid. It can be THAT simple! Just find out what works for you, and try making it a daily habit.
#2 – Backup and transfer all your stored media
Photographs and videos are a brilliant way of recording our experiences in vivid form, but technology advances at a rapid pace, and if we’re not careful, we can easily end up in a situation where our old videos and photos are lost simply through the changes in the hardware that’s commonly available.
VHS is now a defunct medium, but many of us have some of our best memories recorded on VHS tape. Seeking out tools and services that allow us to convert VHS to DVD can be a vital step in guarding those recordings.
The same applies to all forms of media. Scan your old letters and photos, so you have digital copies available. Make creating backups a weekly or monthly habit!
#3 – Make a point of doing new, interesting things with your loved ones on a regular basis
Researchers have found evidence that the more we do “new”, “interesting” things, the more we’re able to effectively store and recall memories associated with those events.
This seems true on an intuitive level. You can probably remember very few specific days you spent in the office, they are all more or less the same, and so they all tend to blur together.
By contrast, you almost certainly remember events like your first kiss or the first time you took your kids to the zoo.
Make a point of doing new, interesting things with your loved ones on a regular basis, to forge as many new and lasting memories as possible.
There you have my top three recommendations and tips that help me to preserve my precious memories as a dad. Do you have anything to add? What are your favorite ways of preserving memories? How do you deal with the topic and how do you incorporate your personal techniques into the busy life as a mom or dad? Please let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading my article. And don’t forget: Sharing is caring 🙂
Josh – Contributing Author
P.S.: Did you EVER happen to yell at your child or call a timeout? Did you regret it afterwards? I certainly have, and I never felt good about it! If you want to learn how to put an end to this behavior, decode your kids and understand them so much better and become a calm parent, then make sure to read my FULL REVIEW of “Positive Parenting Solutions” HERE. This program changed our family’s life and we saw first results within just 3(!) days. And it will certainly work for you as well!