I believe it’s safe to say most of us wish we were better at preserving our memories! How many of us recall the highlights of our lives – vacations, sporting events, and special occasions? Yet wish we had more photos and videos to help lend more vivid detail to our memories. Perhaps, on the other end of the spectrum, some of us have photos spilling out of albums, or even drawers. This can create more overwhelm than joy. Whatever the number of photos or videos you may have, I believe we can all agree that having them organized and accessible contributes to our greatest enjoyment of them and the memories they stir.
I happen to be in the “more” category. And as I age, having organization that allows me to easily access my pictures and videos has become more important. For many, the thought of even attempting such a daunting task is overwhelming. Here’s my advice – DO IT ANYWAY! Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:
- Make it into a project and solicit help, even if it means hiring someone.
- Identify an organizational system that best suits your needs: albums, picture storage boxes or even a software system.
- Consider organizing them by year, event, or by loved one.
- Create a timeline of your life, ordering your photos to include births, weddings, graduations, vacations, mission trips, conferences you’ve attended, friendship “beginnings”, concerts, and homes in which you’ve lived.
- And my favorite suggestion – delete your duplicates, the unfocused shots and those in which you can hardly see the faces. Having too many pictures will prevent you from enjoying the good ones you have. What’s the point in having thousands of pictures if you don’t look at any of them?
Looking Back And Learning
While reading this, you may be wondering what these “how to” ideas have to do with the mission and message of Q4 Impact. The truth is we can learn so much by looking back over the course of our lives. We notice patterns, as well as both our good and bad decisions. If we look honestly, we can also learn from our mistakes. Organizing our past, through even such a practice as preserving our memories, is a practical and helpful way to help us not repeat our mistakes.
Deuteronomy 4:9 says, “Only be on your guard and diligently watch yourselves so that you don’t forget the things your eyes have seen and so that they don’t slip from your mind as long as you live. Teach them to your children and your grandchildren.” (CSB) I can’t think of a more enjoyable way to share the lessons God has taught me in and through my life’s experiences than sharing with friends and loved ones in story and picture.
A Way to Share and Bless
Most memories captured in photos bring us great joy. An added benefit to preserving them is that it encourages our thanksgiving to God for all He has helped us do and how He’s sprinkled our lives with joy and grace. Why delay? What steps will you take to better preserve your memories so they become an enjoyable resource you can use to share your story and wisdom with those in your sphere of influence?
Consider the alternative of not organizing them, leaving your heirs with the work you weren’t willing to do. Our sons, daughters, and grandkids will one day inherit our memories which hold the history of our lives.
For me, this is part of stewardship, and loving my children well by taking care of as many things as I can so I don’t add to their own list of responsibilities. Isn’t that the loving thing to do? So, let’s stop making excuses and get it done! Doing so will provide treasured reminders of your family and friends, and some very important experiences. You will be glad you did!