“Making memories”, what a curious phrase. I see it captioned all over social media alongside pictures of enjoyable activities and family traditions.
This obvious proclamation contradicts reality because we generally can’t predict which moments will go on to live in the old memory bank. In fact, everything we do is a memory making candidate and they’ll occur whether we seek to make them or not.
Whenever I get a whiff of an indescribable, but awfully specific musty scent, I think of my Great-uncle Charlie. He was my “crazy uncle” that everyone supposably has. When he was 69 years old, his sister died, leaving him to take care of himself for the very first time in his life. As a young adult I would help my mom out by picking him up from his high-rise apartment to bring him to holiday gatherings with our family so he wouldn’t be alone. Those car rides were always eventful. One time he took the cigarette filled ashtray from my car and dumped it out of the passenger side window to clean it. We were going about 40 miles per hour, so naturally the ashes blew right back into his face and all over my car.
Just a few hours with Uncle Charlie and my young daughter learned several inappropriate phrases. She and I were in the supermarket on more than one occasion where she decided it would be a good time to repeat them. So embarrassing!
Good old Charlie was also a snoop! He would wander around whoever’s house he was in and meddle in their drawers and cabinets when no one was looking. He didn’t care if he got caught, he just didn’t want to be stopped. When his rummaging was complete, he’d ask questions about his findings. No shame!
My brother’s wedding ceremony was extra memorable with Uncle Charlie’s constant, intense, hacking cough.
I could go on for hours with Uncle Charlie stories, his outrageousness cracked me up!
Other than my brother’s wedding, these memories were not captured in a picture or recording but were still somehow retained. I didn’t tag them with “making memories”, but yet here they are, and I couldn’t love them more if I picked them out myself. Actually, they are more than memories, they are moments that molded me into who I am and left imprints on my heart.
So, instead of announcing when memory making is in progress, focus more on enjoying the moment…appreciate the impact of the activity or tradition… soak in the fun…listen to the laughter…feel the feelings of the moment.
When “making memories” is declared, it ironically takes away from the memory making. The here and now is abandoned so it can be documented. Memories will always be made; they just may not be the ones you were hoping for. They may be better.
Tell me this: Does the phrase ‘making memories’ resonate with you?