First, take a photo without a camera. In other words, focus on a scene, an experience with another person, or a moment in time that’s meaningful. Think about it. What does it feel like? What do you smell? What do you hear? What do you see?
Paying attention to these senses will help you remember what matters to you.
I will always remember a certain sunset at Crandon Park in Miami, Florida when I was fifteen. It was early that fall and I knew something was up with my eyesight. I remember sitting on a blanket, alone, while my friend was in the water. I remember focusing on the beauty of the sunset as it captured the horizon. I can still see the way the little pieces of sun fell upon the broken surface of the ocean. They danced like diamonds on the water! The peaks of the water rose toward the sky as they sparkled and shimmered. I can still feel the moist salty breeze that caressed my cheek and played with my hair.
With the fading sight I still had, I took a picture without a camera. I seared that moment, which became a memory, in my mind and it still remains. So, make your memories last. Be still and intentionally take pictures in your mind that you can see forever and then assign meaning to those memories.
Second, pick up a journal if you don’t already have one. Begin the practice of writing things down. It is a great way for you to practically say to your soul, “Look Back.” Journaling your journey gives you a way to reread the script of your life! Your journal entries provide running commentary for the pictures you’ve taken without a camera.
I read recently the Reagan Diaries. It was truly interesting to glimpse written snapshots of the Reagan presidency and the thoughts of a man. He truly was gifted with the art of summary. Now that he is gone, his heart beat can still be heard for generations through what he journaled. So, even if you don’t have the need to “write it down,” your children someday may have the need to see snapshots of their parent’s life. Don’t deprive your posterity of truly knowing you. And the real benefit is that writing it down will help you to know yourself.
“The life of man is the true romance, which when it is valiantly conduced, will yield the imagination a higher joy than any fiction.” - Emmerson