Making Memories

Life will bring you pain all by itself. Your responsibility is to create joy ~Milton Erickson~

How do we go through life? Conscious or dazed? Do we live “on purpose or in reaction to it?” I have learned the value of “making life memories happen”. My mother and Grandmother taught me this lesson.

I have always said that death teaches us how to live. So does aging. When we begin to realize that life doesn’t last forever, we begin to live more intentionally (or we can give in to despair).

As my Grandmother aged, I developed a philosophy that this could be “the last”…. Birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day, etc. As she aged, people encouraged me to stop this philosophy. Thankfully, I never did. The day came when we celebrated our last Champagne Mother’s Day Brunch and her last BBQ rib-eating Birthday. This practice has left me with no regrets.

As my mother with MS declined and aged, we learned to transcend her inability to talk, walk, or move. And we celebrated!!! Up until 2 days before she died, we danced in her wheelchair, watching Dancing with the Stars and we laughed. Again, no regrets.

So what does this have to do with my life?

Being intentional about making memories has become part of my everyday thinking. While we can’t erase the sad memories, we can increase the good. None of us has forever to live. What are the memories that we want to make to look back on later in life? It doesn’t take much. Some simple planning and a creative mind can turn any day into the extraordinary.

Make A Wish foundation take the life’s wish of a dying child and make it happen. So, why do we wait?

The movie ‘The Bucket List’ caused us all to ponder, ‘what do I want to be sure I do before I die’? Vacations can cause us to think about the highlights of the area that we don’t want to miss.

We live in an illusion that we have forever until something awakens us to the reality that that we don’t. Let’s learn to live on purpose and choose the very best selection from the “smorgasbord of life”. Experience will teach us that some things are not always as satisfying as they appear and that some other things will delight and surprise us.

Many of us we chase after “it”, the job, a relationship, finances, a house that we think will make us feel like we have “arrived”. This searching and pursuit often overshadows the joys of everyday life. Learn to create joy within the ordinary. Find passion in the simple moments. Introduce humor or silliness in the midst of routine. Create memories for others and yourself.

1) Who is important to you?
2) What brings joy to others?
3) Create an idea
4) Plan it on your calendar
5) Make it happen
6) Mark the memory

So step out, take some risks, dare to dream and shake your world up a bit from time to time. Don’t let ego, age or status stop you. A CEO can shake up a meeting by walking in wearing a funny hat. A coworker can play a practical joke. Deliver flowers to someone wearing a paper bag on your head as disguise. Surprise your mom by cooking her favorite recipe. Make angels in the snow. Learn a craft you never tried. Light candles to welcome your loved ones home.

Sometimes just doing the opposite of our normal routine will help us to see the world differently.

Scientists will tell us this creates new neural pathways and changes brain chemistry positively. Neurotransmitters are released when we have a sense of purpose, feel excited or experience something new. Making memories has the ability to have a positive influence on our bodies, minds, and souls. But most of all, we will create standalone moments for all to remember.

Life is short. Shake it up!!!


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