Auntie Says: Are you up for the challenge?

The holiday season is a transitional time of year

It hit me yesterday when we took down the Christmas tree that the whole holiday season is a transitional time of year.

Like every year before, the lights, the baubles and the special memories all got packed away leaving the room looking a little sad and dowdy. I had to stand back and really think of this as wiping the slate clean and starting fresh. All that tradition is put away for another year. In 11 months or so, we’ll pull it back out and reflect again on the old memories along with the new ones that’ll be made throughout this year.

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As you sit now, the holidays done and over, what do you want to remember at the end of 2019? Can this thought lead you in a direction to make different choices this year? When you stop and think about it, memories are really all we have that belong exclusively to us. We can share experiences but individually we’ll take away different highlights, feelings, and retrospect. I’d like to challenge each and every one of you to make 2019 a year of memory making, building and recording.

Time is a tricky little fellow. He sneaks up on you and all of a sudden you’re 40 — then 50! Yikes! How the heck did that happen? I swear I was 20 just the other day. Time slips away as we wallow in our daily over-scheduled lives. Plans can be made, forgotten, or spoiled all in a moment because we simply don’t take the time to pay attention or focus. Time will, and does, pass us by without a tap on the shoulder. It’s up to us to pay attention.

Related: Auntie Says — Reflecting back on 2018

When was the last time you visited you grandparents or your old auntie? This can be a daunting venture because let’s face it you have nothing in common — or do you? Go into a visit with the idea of creating a memory instead of just fulfilling an obligation. We forget sometimes that people had active lives before they got wrinkled and grey. Ask about what they did when they were kids or maybe ask your grandma about her first date with grandpa. You may be surprised at the stories you’ll hear.

If your elderly parent or friend has some memory loss then make them a memory board with pictures. You can do the board together to spark memories or make it an ongoing project to keep it current.

Maybe this can be the year that you write your memoir or biography. This is a process of putting all those past memories, experiences, and anecdotes in a semblance of order and recording them to share with others (or not). Perhaps you have boxes of photographs stuffed away in the attic calling out for attention (or maybe it’s 8,000 photos online). Very often there’s a story that goes along with each of those photos — a history full of memories. The thing is that others won’t know the story unless you share the memory.

A few years ago, after my mom died we were left with a lot of pictures of people that we had no idea who they were or what, if anything, they meant to the family. It was really sad. This year I want to at least write on the back of the ones I have and share the memories with those around me.

I once went through stacks of pictures of myself and my many nieces and nephews and sorted them into envelopes to snail-mail away along with a short note. They all loved the surprise on the other end and it evoked a lot of memories for them too. I think it’s time to do it again.

Everyday is a new memory. Embrace and enjoy. Happy New Year.

Faye Arcand is a freelance writer living in the South Okanagan. She can be reached at faye.arcand@icloud.com or www.fayeearcand.com.

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