In my case, the gray tends to stick around longer in my head than the rosy, an unfortunate quirk of personality that I would give just about anything to return to sender. (Although, the really good stuff hangs in there, too… I can conjure up eel fishing in Sweden in an eighth of a second flat, and that was twenty years ago. Sigh.)
Since I started thinking about having kids, memories in general have become more important. (I’m sure my mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis has something to do with it as well. Duh.) About a year ago I decided that when I had kids I would start a Memory Book—a place to keep all the little mementos of life that accumulate that you never know what to do with (tickets from Disneyland, I imagined, or a particularly fascinating leaf from the park.)
And then I realized, “What am I waiting for?”
So I started a tradition. All on my own, no kid necessary. On January 1st, I went shopping for my 2009 Memory Book. I gave it its own special place on a desk in the corner of my living room. The desk drawer holds only Memory Book supplies—glue sticks, markers, scissors. And when I come home from a concert, or dinner with friends, a movie or museum, or just have a really great dinner at home with family, I put it in the book.
Although I can’t remember (cuz of the impressionist thing) I’m pretty sure my Memory Book was inspired by something I read on The Happiness Project, and I’m pleased to report it has indeed made me happier. I love looking back through the book, remembering the amazing “Kobe French toast” my dad made when he and my nephew came to town for Father’s Day...
... and the day I went to the hospital to welcome my friends’ new baby into the world...
... and… well… okay, I’ll include it… the American Idol Finale. (I went. I loved it. Ohmygod I loved it. In case you can't tell from the way I went crazy with the yellow marker.)
And each time I look through my book I’m reminded: this year has indeed been far more rosy than gray.