Last week, we started organising our digital photos. Now we move on to the whole process of creating family memories. Most of us will be doing this with our family time in mind, but if you don’t have children or they’ve grown up and left home, you can do this with other people in mind or just for yourself.
We need to be intentional about the kinds of memories we create. Good times don’t often happen that spontaneously: they take planning and effort. I’m not asking you to plan a wedding here, but to plan some things to do with your family over the next 12 months.
Task One: Think back to your own childhood memories
Spend some time reminiscing about your own childhood, and the good memories which really stand out. Which ones are ‘everyday’ memories? Which ones are one-off events? Make a quick list of things you’d like to do with your family, or activities you’d like to repeat.
Task Two: One-off experiences
As a bit of blue-sky thinking, what are the kinds of once-in-a-lifetime experiences you’d like to have? Or what are the once-in-a-lifetime experiences you’d like to give your children? Things like a trip to Disneyland, going camping, seeing a show in the West End, watching a football match etc. Let your imagination go a bit crazy!
Task Three: Childhood experiences
Spend a bit of time looking for ideas for childhood experiences. ‘Childhood Bucket Lists’ are a good thing to search for, or the National Trust has a list of 50 things to do before you are 11 ¾. These can be really low-key, like looking for bugs on a nature hunt or building a snowman. They could be longer-term, like learning a musical instrument, playing a sport or growing vegetables.
Task Four: Places to visit
This is a good task for a date night. Start making a list of the places in the world that you would like to visit one day. It doesn’t have to be any time soon, but just one day.
Task Five: Plan your holiday
On a year to view calendar, map out the school holidays if relevant to you, and try to identify when you’re going to go on holiday. You might also want to pencil in a few family weekends, visits to extended family or even a break just for you and your partner.
Task Six: Make a memories jar
All you need for this is a jar and a bunch of lollipop sticks. On each lollipop stick, write an activity that you’d like to do. You could colour-code them according to the weather needs, the season or the cost. When you’ve got a quiet afternoon, pull a task out of the memories jar and get going!
Task Seven: Take stock of your equipment
Making memories like this quite often demands specific equipment. Wellies and waterproofs are a must in the UK, but you may also have a stash of camping equipment, fishing gear, barbecues, paddling pools and so on. This might take a few hours, but spend some time sorting through it all and working out what needs replacing before you turn up at a campsite without any tent pegs.
With Christmas coming up, you might want to add some things to your Christmas list!
I’d like to join The Organised Life Project