I’ve already mentioned my growing interest in self-help or personal development books in this post where I gave you a list of 10 books I absolutely adore. Everyone should read them! But obviously not just those. I keep discovering new, perhaps even more life-changing books as I go through my collection (in attempt to read all the books in on my shelves by 2025). One that I’ve grown a particular bond to is the Art of Making Memories by Meik Wiking. It’s such a beautiful read. If you enjoy happy books with a pinch of sentiment and a dash of practical advice on how to be the best version of yourself that you can be, then read on.
3 things I’ve learned from the Art of Making Memories by Meik Wiking
Intentionally created memories
Collecting memories doesn’t necessarily mean drifting through life whilst shoving everything that happens into tiny departments in your brain. It also means intentionally enriching your life with moments worth remembering. I’ve been learning to do this specifically on holidays and trips over the past months. I always try and find something I wouldn’t normally do. Places I wouldn’t normally see. Experiences I wouldn’t normally try. For example when we go on a trip over the weekend, we sometimes just like to walk around a new city. Stroll through the alleys, look around, appreciate the architecture. Although this is a very comforting, slightly exciting and life appreciative activity which I adore, the cities and places eventually blur into one.
To make the memories more special I’ve started looking out for opportunities to make the cities more unique in my memory. We go to different cafes and restaurants. Which we didn’t use to, because why would you spend money in a restaurant you don’t know when you can just have a sandwich, right? Well, I call a bullshit. We also try and find souvenirs that are special and unique. I often pick up vintage cabinet photographs or vintage books. Sometimes we visit a local museum. Climb a local view tower. Go to a local zero waste shop and buy something locally grown.
Simply put it’s worth your while to put more effort and intention into creating unique memories. And not just whilst travelling. Everywhere you go.
Photos are not all THAT good
I used to think that taking a camera with me means I’ll preserve all my memories. I look through the photos at a later date and remember everything. Then the 21st century came around and the last time I checked I had over 500GB of photos on my external hard drive. Photos I’ll never check again because I can’t possibly go through them. So what was the point of taking all those photos? I could have been more present in the moment and maybe I’d have remembered it better. I can’t go back in time and make those memories any better now, but I can work on getting better going forward.
Now when I want to capture memories I either take photos as usual (or maybe slightly less so I can still enjoy all the happy moments in my life as they come). But when I get home I edit them straight away. I sort through them. And have some printed to display in our home and I create a photo book for all the best holidays we’ve been on. I love creating these little photo books. I often intentionally find the time in my day to sit down with a glass of wine and flick through them. Remembering all the beautiful times we’ve had. That way I don’t feel the terrible guilt and overwhelm of folders upon folders upon folders of digital waste.
Alternatively I sometimes leave my digital camera at home and grab one of my vintage cameras instead. On most of them you only get 36 shots. Some of the older ones only allow you to take 12 shots. You really do think hard about what you’re taking a photo of. Because, bloody hell, do you know how expensive it is to have them developed? There’s definitely a financial restriction to taking film photos but there’s even stronger element of magic and intention to it!
The importance of seasons
I’ve already learnt this in Shoukei Matsumoto’s book but it’s being repeatedly emphasised in the Art of Making Memories too. It’s the understated importance of changing seasons. I’m talking spring, summer, autumn, winter. Each season is special and unique. And it seems like we’ve forgotten how to embrace them. Walking in the forest in spring is a completely unique experience from walking in the very same forest in autumn. Enjoying a pumpkin puree soup on a warm autumn afternoon on your terrace with your loved one has its own kind of magic in itself. It’s a memory you won’t be able to mix up with memories from the other seasons. Creating season specific memories is simple yet effective. Don’t forget to embrace the way nature changes around us throughout the year.
These are just 3 little things I picked up from this book personally. There are so many other tips & tricks on how to create, keep and bring up the most beautiful moments in your life.
Pick this book up at your local bookshop – supporting independent bookshops is super important in this age! Alternatively if for whatever reason you can’t pop into a bookshop, you can get the book on BookDepository.