Memory, when you're a mum, is a funny thing. Some things stand out sharp, like the moment I picked Ebba up for the first time, or her first bath, or the first night we laid down just staring at each other in the moonlight. But, in between these tiny blips, I pretty much remember nothing. It's not like I remember things wrong, or that they're fuzzy...it's just, kind of a black hole.
I realized this last night, and it made me a little bit sad. When it's my own memories that slide into nothingness, it's sad enough. But those first few minutes, days, weeks with Ebba -- I wanted to remember them all! Now, I find myself asking my mum and stepdad, "Did I cuddle her? How often did I feed her? What was she like? What was I like???" It's not like I don't have fond memories; as I said above, I have little blips.
But this got me to thinking... Before we had cameras and video cameras and all of that fancy stuff, did people remember things more? I'm pretty sure that my memory for facts was better pre-Google. Is it the same with memories of our own events? I actually caught myself wishing that I had had people take more pictures of us as a family. And even wishing I had been one of those annoying mums who took videos of every little burp and poop and cry my newborn did. Yes, mum, you can give me your big-eyed 'I told you so' now and whip out your camera as much as you want next time we see you!
Or, on second thought, maybe not! Maybe our over-reliance on electronic memory has made our own memories falter. And while it's nice to have an external, objective way to see the past, there's something so wonderful about seeing the past through your own subjective lens, remembering the attached emotions and thoughts -- things that don't come out in those high-res videos on the hard drive.
So, as an alternative, I'm going to make an effort to preserve these cherish-worthy moments as organically as I can (boy, isn't that the buzz-word of the century!), by really living in them and turning my full consciousness on them. Perhaps that will be a better way to preserve a memory. To help me, in case the mindfulness doesn't work on its own, I'm going to start journalling regularly again because there's something about writing something down that solidifies it.
And, if all else fails, I guess I'll have my photos to fall back on. :) I'm not going to venture out here without a safety net!
What are your guys' thoughts on preserving memories? Are photos the way to go? Or can we enjoy our present, and our past more by putting away the external lens and really submerging ourselves in the moment?