Something to Remember It By
Whether itís refrigerator magnets, an antique letter opener, or even a coconut, itís always a good idea to have something physical, and tangible to remember a place by. In our home my wife and I have an entire shelf dedicated to small items, trinkets, and oddities weíve collected over the years, including everything from seashells I found free diving in Aruba, Hawaii and Bali, to antique weapons, vases, bowls, cups, and even potsherds we found in Corinth.
Every piece holds a memory, and it is like our own private secret whenever we happen to look at an item on our shelf and remember the time we spent in that particular place. Itís amazing the memories a certain piece acquired in a certain place can unlock, and in the end, life is about making memories and having a way to catalogue them and remember them throughout the years.
Donít get me wrong, photos are great, a picture is after all worth a thousand words, but if youíre anything like me, you probably have upward of fifty thousand photos on your hard drive, and are still putting off going through them, cataloging them, and making photo albums.
Letís face it; talking about a spearhead you acquired in Thermopylae is far more fascinating than showing someone a picture of you pretending to free dive of a cliff.
As I said, what you acquire as an anchor for your memories in any given place doesnít necessarily have to be expensive, but it does have to have some kind of meaning and relevance.
A friend of mine writes the time, date, and place on a sugar packet wherever she goes, and thatís her anchor. She has a giant bowl in the corner of her living room, and every time she returns from a trip, the bowl gets a little fuller with sugar packets.
When I asked her why she did this, since she has been doing it since her teen and is now in her thirties, she said it was for when she grew old, and would have no place to go. ĎAll I have to do when the time comes is stick my hand in the bowl, pull out a packet, read the time, date and location, close my eyes, and relive the experience. I remember sights, sounds and smells from ten, even fifteen years ago when I read one of those packets, but I couldnít tell you what I had for dinner two weeks ago.í
Without an active anchor our memories just float around aimlessly, popping up for air from time to time, at a time and in a manner of their own choosing.
When we anchor our memories however, we know exactly where to find them, and can return to them as often as we choose.
Whether itís the first taste of gelato on your tongue on a hot summerís day on a bustling nondescript street in Rome, or a particularly breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower as youíre strolling through Paris, there are countless memories we want to remember, and having something to remember them by is how we accomplish this.
Make it a habit to bring something home each time you go somewhere, and pretty soon it will be second nature, because you realize the many benefits of being able to remember on demand all the wonderful, rich and detailed moments of your memorable experiences.