memories

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If there’s one thing I always wish I’d do more of, it’s documenting the good times. Well, and exercising, but that’s a whole different topic.

I have a ton of pictures and a bunch of memories with family and friends stored in my brain, but I wish I’d written more growing up and in college. The times I wrote the most were when I was sad which is unfortunate because I was happy most of the time. I don’t have too many inside jokes written in my journal, or many of the nights my friends and I stayed up doing random things. Yes, I still remember a lot of it, but I know there’s probably a lot I’ve forgotten, too, especially the funny little things people said and did.

I have a good memory, but I always seem to want to remember even more of the good times I’ll never get back. Sometimes the best thing about seeing a picture or reading a journal you haven’t in a really long time is having a lost memory come back in full force, like a movie playing in your mind.

The last few years, I’ve done relatively well at documenting my life and the people in it thanks to blogging and a Google document I created so I can write anywhere if I want to. But this year, I’m going to add one more thing: a jar of memories.

A couple summers ago, I challenged myself to take a photo a day for a year. This helped me look for something to remember each day, or find something beautiful to take photos of. Sometimes, in order to make the goal, I’d go for walks around my neighborhood looking for new flowers or views I hadn’t noticed before. I’d take pictures of familiar places I didn’t want to forget like the Island Market, the big tree right in front of my apartment door, and the road I used to run on. One day, I biked home in the rain and got a photo of myself soaked from top to bottom. I have a photo of my friend cutting the cake at her wedding, and another photo of a rainbow made of flowers in someone’s yard.

I was never perfect at this goal, and some weeks only had four or five photos. Eventually, it became a little exhausting to maintain, so my year of taking pictures didn’t last longer than about six to eight weeks. But since I moved from Logan, Utah, that year, I’m so glad I have those photos of some of my last months there.

On Facebook last week, I saw the idea for a jar to slip memories in for a year. They can be notes with blessings, laugh-out-loud moments, accomplishments, surprise gifts, moments of beauty, or pretty much anything positive that stands out in the day. Then on Dec. 31, you can open the jar and go through them.

I thought this was a great idea and figured I would pass it along. I don’t think it matters that we’re a week in the year already. I don’t even think it matters if you write something every single day, although if you do, that is an awesome goal. I think the point it just to help us see the good, little things around us more frequently. I know if I do this, at the end of the year, I won’t regret not documenting more of those things.

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