Beyond using Facebook and Instagram as a virtual scrapbook of sorts, how are you tracking the many life moments, milestones and rites of passage for your family year to year?
As humans, we have evolved to track and evaluate our days and lives to allow us the best vantage point to determine if we are on the right path or if we have strayed far and now need to course-correct.
Prior to the social media invasion, I used to keep photo albums and was pretty diligent about ordering a physical photobook from digital files each year to see the ways we had all grown and changed in our family. There were beloved pets honored, new babies added, trips taken, and houses address changes – all honored on the pages.
Sometime in the last decade, something has been lost in that we often no longer have physical papers and photos to hold. Rarely do I ever take the photos off my phone any longer and print them into books. Often I rely completely on digital files now, and “on this day X years ago” memories that pop up from something that was posted online.
A few years ago, I found myself wanting (needing?) to create and track my family’s milestones in some way to measure our time together.
One method I created was incredibly low maintenance and easy to maintain, and it is one of the things I have most easily kept up with four years later.
Basically I take a canvas and our write memories in just a few short words (e.g., book titles that we read together, trips we took together, classes completed, or developmental milestones that occurred – even losses of beloved relatives or pets). At the end of each school year, I dated the canvas with large numbers of the school year that it happened. The boards live on the wall in my hallway all year long, which makes it easy to remember to add to it. I love the way it becomes a rainbow of handwritten memories in sharpies. Now that my kids are older, I let them write the memories themselves. Maybe one day down the road they will feel nostalgia about having their early years written in their mother’s handwriting. Maybe not. Regardless, the act of writing the moment down is a form of precelebrated nostalgia for me, a mom who is watching life take forever and fly by all too fast at the same time most days.
What ways do you track life’s moments in your family?
If you’d like support creating your own rituals and nature connection practices, check out The Handmade Life! There I offer nature-based coaching sessions, share herbal traditions, handcrafted goods, DIY workshops and herbal consultations.