Wednesday, January 28, 2015

One simple tip for journaling

What are you journaling about these days, friends? Sometimes, I swear I was a historian in a past life. Back in the day when I kept a journal the old-fashioned way, I was obsessed with sharing every single little detail. What restaurants we went to. What I ordered. What hotels we stayed at while on vacation. How many of said hotels had indoor pools.

In fact, it sort of became a running joke in my family. Anytime my mom was trying to remember something, she'd say, "Melissa, check your journal for me!"

Well, it looks like I'm ahead of a trend! It looks like those mundane moments aren't so mundane after all, according to new research from Harvard Business School. Ting Zhang, a doctoral candidate and lead author of the four-part study published in Psychological Science, looked at the inherent "unexpected value of rediscovery." She took 135 undergraduates and had them create time capsules, full of things like their most recent conversation, their most recent social outing, three songs they had just listened to, a photo they had recently taken and a recent Facebook status they had posted. The students also rated how interested they thought they'd be about seeing this time capsule in the future -- the average rating was a three out of seven. Fast-forward three months, and the students answer the same question before opening their time capsules -- the average had jumped to a 4.34.

The Atlantic writer Cody C. Delistraty put this theory to the test during a family car trip over the holidays. His plan of attack was perfect...
I had five days with my family over Christmas and each day I spent 10 minutes writing about what we had done—what I had seen, eaten, touched, and smelled—and then collected an object to mark the day. When we went to the movies I brought home my ticket stub. When we went to a seafood restaurant I brought home a dolphin figurine that came with our bill. After we opened gifts on Christmas morning, I saved a swatch of wrapping paper to remember not just the gifts but the pleasure of opening them.
I also love how he describes these seemingly mundane events becoming part of his identity -- something that he will carry with him long after he's thrown away the mementos from those mundane days...
Surely, I will throw these items away some time or another. I can’t hoard trinkets forever. But I want to wait to revisit them after I have forgotten the moments they represent. Within the year my grandparents will likely move to an assisted living home. My father, brother, and I will no longer make the cross-state car trip. I won’t see Tuesday morning movies featuring “Cary” and “Bogey” at the Galaxy Multiplex with my grandparents. The family won’t sit around in the living room eating cinnamon rolls and talking while my grandfather adjusts his hearing aid and tells everyone to quiet down when Meet the Press comes on.
YES!! This is definitely one of the 65621551845 things I love about blogging. Even blogging about those little things is an act of making a memory, you know? It's creating something that I can look back on years from now and think, "Wow, it feels like that was only yesterday!"
Do you do something like this in your own life, friends? Scrapbooking is another activity that comes to mind as a good way of capturing life's mundane magic! Get out there and start creating, friends! xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]

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