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As For Me and My House: A Home of Memories

April 26, 2010

In her New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin writes, “One piece of wisdom that didn’t resonate with me initially was the importance of keeping happy memories vivid. But as I mulled over this principle, I realized the tremendous value of mementos that help prompt positive memories. Studies show that recalling happy times helps boost happiness in the present. When people reminisce, they focus on positive memories, with the result that recalling the past amplifies the positive and minimizes the negative. However, because people remember events better when they fit with their present mood, happy people remember happy events better, and depressed people remember sad events better. Depressed people have as many nice expressions as other people–they just don’t recall them as well” (p. 101).

Second, Katie and I dream of creating a house of memories.

We’ve utilized the digital age to transcribe significant events and people in previous aspects of our lives. Katie has thousands of photos from her study abroad semester in 2004 and her Masters program at Oxford in 2007-08, and has made several scrapbooks documenting the verdant scenery and her incredible students and housemates. I’ve made several amateur films for my MFT cohort, including hilarious skits, random goofiness in the office, and parting words and blessings from each classmate. We hope to bless our children by taking pictures of their first steps, home videos of their first words and songs, and collages and scrapbooks of family vacations, sporting events, concerts, prom dates, and other significant events in the lives of our children.

Although I promised Katie I wouldn’t be like this father with my film-making exploits.

Gretchen also discusses the importance of family rituals and traditions. I’ve mentioned on this blog some of the rituals that Katie and I have, such as giving hugs and blowing kisses before leaving for work and after arriving at home. We dream of sharing some of those daily rituals and reminders of love with our children. We hope to come to the table each evening to share a meal and talk about our days. We want to synchronize family rituals with the religious and societal calendar; I’m curious to see how we participate with our children in Lent and Advent and how our children understand and take joy from Christmas (both in receiving/giving gifts and welcoming our Savior) and Easter. We dream of teaching our children our favorite games and pray that we have the awareness and flexibility to create and imagine new games with our children.

What are some of your family traditions/rituals that have created positive, happy, nurturing memories?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Judy permalink
    April 26, 2010 1:34 pm

    I have very happy memories of the “Jeremiah Cheer” when you were 2 or 3 years old; and of the “Ch” game as we drove places when you were older. Telephone poles and looking for wires that formed the letter A… of you and Graumie playing games with the numbers and names in one of you atlases. Lots of fun times that you may not even remember. You were a fun kid. Love, Mom

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