My personal laptop is close to ancient – it’s 5 years old. That’s as good as ancient in today’s world of upgrading laptops and phones the moment a new version comes out. It’s heavy and honestly looks like a brick. But, I’ve kept it with me all these years and I’m never going to get rid of it. Why? Well because my grandmother gave it to me, and now it’s another one of the few things to hold on to to keep her memories alive.
I used to have a glass globe as a child. Whenever I’ve moved cities or homes, it’s moved along with me. During one of the moving exercises, it shattered into pieces. I collected the shards carefully, and I still move with the pieces wherever I go. Why? It’s another gift from my grandmother, and when I see it, I don’t see a broken globe. I see a grandmother trying to teach her granddaughter how expansive the world is. I also remember how pleased she looked when I was excited to get the gift and kept rotating the globe.
There are so many objects like this which are not “objects” anymore. They have a story associated with them, and we can’t give them away even if we want to. We all have that favorite t-shirt which is full of holes but we won’t throw it away. We have that old suitcase which we won’t throw away because it’s been associated with so many beautiful memories. Memories are ultimately what we have and what we treasure the most. We don’t really value the objects which were the most expensive or even beautiful, but the ones which are associated with some sort of memory.
I’m notorious for hoarding things like train tickets, museum passes, opera tickets, city-guides and maps. I can’t even imagine throwing them away. Coming across them takes me back to the trips I’ve made and how I felt at those moments when I had new experiences. It may just be a piece of paper in my cupboard now, but it’s so much more than that.
It’s like that one song which moves you to tears no matter where you hear it or after however many years, because it brings back memories. It’s like that one movie which you watch a 100 times and more, not because it’s so good but because you saw it at a time when it resonated with you, and now you want to recreate that moment again. It’s like that food which you used to have in your childhood, and you still think about it wistfully even though you’re probably having something way fancier. Memories are what makes us human and also helps us stay connected to our past and roots.
Daily, we stress and worry about so many things which won’t really be something we’ll cherish after years. When we look back even now, do we think of the beautiful vacations we took, and the time we spent with family and friends, or do we think about how stressed we were at work and how we struggled to battle traffic to reach work. Most of the things we do daily are not things which we’ll really look back at longingly. In our daily rush to get things done and accomplish goals, we shouldn’t forget to keep making time for activities which we will look back and cherish. It’s all good to have your checklist ready and tasks ticked off at the end of the day, but don’t forget to keep making memories.