Why do we remember some things and not everything?
Except for a few unique individuals, most people “weed out” their memories. We don’t remember what the weather was on a specific day unless it connects to another saved memory. For example, we may remember that it rained on the 4th of July because we spent that weekend feeling miserable living in a tent. Special events are remembered and just what we consider a “special” event can vary greatly. If you are a pessimist by nature, your memory of that soggy 4th of July would be about the miserable weather and the plans unrealized. The optimist may well remember the same event but have very different feelings. The way the coffee tasted better or the fact that the rain kept your family inside where they played games or talked more than they may have if outdoor pleasures were available.
What we “choose” to remember says so much about who we are. Whether our memories are primarily pleasant or not, says more about our attitudes and less about what actually happened.
The whole of this discussion comes down to our personal capacity to experience happiness. A subject that really fascinates me.
Can we learn to be happy?
It sounds so simple, but in my opinion, happiness is relishing ordinary things and remembering them positively.
My Aunt was surprised at a special memory I had of her reading her favorite poem to me when I was a kid. (The Raggedy Man)
I can picture her on a bed where I was tucked in cozily beside her. I was looking out of the window as I listened to her. I still remember the farm scene and can hear her soft voice. The love and appreciation she had for those written words filled the room.
My mother read to us when we were kids. She loved what she read and the stories and moments stay with me as well. They are among my calm happy memories which I choose to visit much more often than any other kind. Both my parents laughed readily and often. 🙂
I guess what I am trying to say is to share yourself with kids, as often as you can. Show passion for what you love freely and turn every moment possible into a happy memory for yourself and those around you. Don’t ever forget to laugh!