It feels a bit weird writing about making memories during a period of time where every day has felt the same for months now. No one can do anything different, see anywhere new or visit any friends or family, so how can we make memories? And why am I thinking about that now?
It actually all started through my teaching. We’ve been using some of the time in lockdown for professional development. One example of this being; looking at how to convert more information in students minds from our working memory to long term. I also just so happened to have started reading The Art of Making Memories by Meik Wiking which talks all about how we need to start to remember more from our lives. Wiking has written some of my other favourite books The Little Book of Hygge and The Little Book of Lykke.
Both of these two factors, combined with the fact that all I can do right now is reminisce about previous fun experiences, I wanted to talk about the importance of making memories even now.
I’ve been very privileged in my life and as a result I feel I’ve had many opportunities to make memories; I’ve travelled, I’ve tried new things and I’ve been able to store these memories through photos on my smart phone. But as important as this is to point out, you don’t need all of these things to actually make memories. Wiking speaks particularly how the memories we remember the most are usually ones, either with emotional attachments or novel experiences. Looking at these novel experiences first I think it was really eye opening to me as to how many memories I’m actually able to make right now.
As I mentioned this whole lockdown situation is a bit of a weird time to be thinking about memories because I feel when the words think of a memory are said people’s thoughts turn to a certain selection of events; wedding days, graduation days, parties, holidays etc…You know those things that aren’t really happening at the moment.
But as Wiking points out, its the novel experiences that we remember and I sure as hell hope this is the first and only pandemic I live through. So there’s a new memory in itself. One that we all share.
So building off of that. What else have you done in lockdown that you have never done before? For us in our little flat, we cooked a paella for dinner wrapped it in tinfoil and took it down the beach to watch the sunset.
*little disclaimer: we live within walking distance of the beach and the drive took us less than 10 minutes so well within our local area. We also social distanced the whole time*
I’ll be honest and say I think that is a memory that is going to stay with me. Just sitting with some lush homemade food with my partner, watching the most beautiful sunset was probably a perfect evening. And something I don’t know whether we would of done if not for lockdown.
There are other new experiences you can try at home. Maybe its the first time you’ve baked bread (successfully?) or you’ve taught yourself a new skill. Lockdown for you could be a time you remember for it being the first time you and your family were all together, and by together I mean properly together. Separate from the distractions of commutes and societal pressures. Time really truly together.
The other factor that contributes to new memories are those emotional times. Emotions are so powerful and can transport us new places in our thoughts. I know I’m not alone in feeling transported through time when I hear a certain song. My Spotify playlist is almost like a time capsule. As I click through the songs I can relive the emotions I felt when I added it to my “liked” category, and even where I was. That particular car journey, flight or time in my bedroom. I’m there.
So in this lockdown I know that so many people will be feeling all manner of emotions. I, myself, go through up days and down days and days of pure monotony. I know I will remember these times for the emotional journey I went on in a positive way. Just two months before any one had even heard of the dreaded c word I moved in with my boyfriend of 7 months. And now here we are nearly three months into lockdown and we have learnt a lot about each other. I will remember this time as one where we proved to ourselves that we are a good match because even being with each other 24/7 for literally 3 months has only made us stronger. The memories I have of us trying to come up with romantic dates from our lounge, the conversations where I learnt more about him and the endless laughter even when I’m mad.
And its not just the emotional memories from my relationship with my partner, its the ones from my friends and family. How much I cherished the social distancing food shop drop offs to my Grandparents, or the FaceTime quizzes and catch up with my best friends. And how despite the miles that separate us we still have a laugh and they feel closer than ever.
This is all new for everyone. So it’ll be a memory that lasts. Some of the reason for that being because of the negativity that is circling in everyone’s minds at the moment – its hard to get away from it. But there will be an element that I remember it also as a time where we all became closer together because we are forced to be apart.
A time where I’ve said hi my neighbours, appreciated my job more than ever, and felt so grateful for where I live.
This lockdown can help us make memories by forcing us to adapt into new things. To force us to look for positives in the negatives, the rainbows in the rainy days if you will it.
So stay safe, continue to stay home where you can, and cherish the good things.
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