This July, as we bask in the most summery summer we've had in years, take time to make memories so in the future you can better remember the good times.
'Make memories' is rather a contradictory term. Every minute you're alive the present is whooshing past you and a memory is 'being made.' But when you consider how long you've been alive and all you've forgotten, the prospect of making a deliberate effort to make sure you remember a moment in time becomes urgent and important.
Before video, before cameras, well before Instagram, our ancestors recorded their significant events through cave drawings, leading to more sophisticated artworks. Since the beginning of humanity, we have wanted our likeness recorded so that we can remember the good times (and, like, the battles). These days, when a tiny device that fits in your bag can hold thousands of pictures, there is no excuse not to capture every single moment you feel is significant.
Last Thursday, with no one to blame but myself, I lost my phone. By losing it, I lost over 3000 pictures, because I never got 'round to syncing it to the cloud (or insuring it for that matter). I will clench my teeth when I come up with a new, excruciatingly expensive plan with my service provider, but I'll get on with it. It will take me far, far longer to get over losing my snaps.
I will, of course, be able to recover some photos by requesting picture donations from friends. But I'm a photo taker. I take the pics, so other people don't bother. I take photos of occasions other people wouldn't consider to be occasions; a walk in the park with a friend I hadn't seen in a while; a lovely patch of wildflowers; a messy night in the pub at three in the morning.
My mother was the same. I found it annoying when all I wanted to do was play with my cousins, and she'd make us settle down for a few seconds to take a photo 'for the record.' But I'm hugely greatly now that we have so many great recordings of precious times we spent together. I am obsessed with 'making memories' because my mother lost all of hers. She was diagnosed with a form of Alzheimer's when she was only in her fifties. Yes, it is the devastating and cruel disease you've heard of. Losing someone to it while they're still alive is still a bereavement. But there's nothing else to do but live your own life - and remember.
Technology has given us a gift. With phones and social apps, we can record every moment we want to later look back on. We hold history in our pockets. This July, keep that in mind. Take note of every happy sunny day spent with loved ones. Take pictures of every lovely flower, or skirt, or boy you see. Remember that someday you might forget. And don't forget, that while some memories fade, live as good a life as you can, and you will be remembered.