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It’s the end of 2018. This year felt like a whirlwind. 2018 marked our tenth year in Maryland—the longest either my husband or I have ever lived consistently in any one town. This was the year my husband left his Chief Operating Officer job and started freelancing. It was the year I started two websites and ramped up my voice teaching business. It was the year we went on our Disney Cruise.
These big memories are easy to recall at year’s end. There are millions of moments, though, that are simply lost. In their place, we’re left feeling vaguely stressed or vaguely happy without any of the details. We’re left wondering what we actually did all year. We’re left marveling about how our kids grew up so fast.
I got tired of life being a blur.
That was my motivation behind creating a memory jar when it was all the rage on Pinterest a few years back. Once a week or so, I’d write down a funny thing my kids said, a beautiful thing I saw, a piece of good advice I received, or a nice moment I shared with my husband. I’d then toss these snippets into the memory jar to read on New Year’s Eve.
When I decided to make the jar, I was inspired by lots of beautiful templates and Instagram-worthy photos. When I actually made the jar, though, I ended up with a plain mason jar with slips of paper inside ripped from whatever tablet I could find. Even though it isn’t fancy, for several years, it’s been one of the nicest parts of my New Year’s celebration.
This New Year’s Eve, I’ll be remembering some of these random moments:
- 4/17/18: Blowing on the grey dandelions the boys picked for me and chasing after the seeds together.
- 6/11/18: Drank a Pineapple Express Martini at Beach Creek while watching the sunset with Michael and daydreaming about the future.
- 9/08/18: Decluttering today: “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” William Morris, 19th century architect
There’s nothing earth-shattering here. The big moments I’d remember anyway are sometimes featured in the jar, but many, many times, the memories are like the ones I mentioned above.
They’re perfectly ordinary. They remind me of how much the members of our family enjoy spending time together. They remind me of how silly little boys are. They remind me that my favorite moments often involve doing “nothing”. They remind me that my life is special not because of what I do, but because of the people I spend it with. They remind me of things that I inherently know, but that I forget when lIfe gets busy.
Because we are looking to spend more time traveling in 2019, I am graduating from the physical memory jar this year and upgrading to a memory app instead. I’ve been tinkering with several of them that all have slightly different functionality, and I’ve finally managed to choose one.
My Life Journal App
My Life Journal App is a memory jar on steroids. I can save pictures, 5-minute videos, and audio notes in addition to journal entries. (Definitely an upgrade from my current scrap paper system). The app will automatically make movies for me each year that summarize my moments.
My Life Journal App has several features to help me organize my memories. I can search through posts using keywords or tags, and I can ‘star’ my favorite memories to bring them up quickly and easily. I love, too, that the memories are marked on a map so I’ll be able to see all of the wonderful places I’ve traveled by year’s end.
I can protect the content in the app with a passcode. I can request notifications to remind me to add moments daily or weekly—which will definitely be helpful when life gets busy! The app also has a really beautiful interface with lovely landscapes as wallpaper and simple, clear icons for adding content.
With a paid subscription of $1.99/month or $14.99/year, I can even share my moments with up to 15 friends and family members I add to my circle. I can see this being really useful for sharing with the grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
When something monumental like the loss of a baby tooth happens, I often find myself sending out several texts/emails with the story and wondering if I remembered everyone. It will be wonderful to know that I’ve not only kept the details for myself, but done my due diligence to make sure my far-away family members are kept in the loop, too! (And I can change the sharing options for each memory if I’d like to keep certain things private or restricted to just one or two people). This is a huge improvement over a Facebook or Instagram post that automatically goes out to hundreds of people!
Other premium features included in My Life Journal App include private chat via messenger and goals tracking. (Maybe this will also be a replacement for the old Microsoft Word document that has tracked my Bucket List since 1999!)
When choosing a new memory gathering system, I didn’t want to make the process too complex. The beautiful thing about the memory jar is that it was straightforward and easy. My Life Journal App is really intuitive, though, and I know I will love all the increased functionality of my 2019 system. I can’t wait to sit down this time next year to watch the movie summarizing all the awesomeness I’m looking forward to experiencing in 2019.
Do you have a great system for making sure your memories don’t fall through the cracks?
Tell us about it in the comments!
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