As I get older, I realize just what a gift memory is. I also realize that my memory isn't what it once was (and I'm only 43!). Pregnancy and motherhood have a way of permanently reserving a portion of your brain. However, I'm grateful for the section they've left for my personal use. And there's nothing like a good memory--especially one that is older and whose reality has mellowed with age so that what remains is sweeter than what originally existed.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning said "Light tomorrow with today!" To me that means to live well and make good memories. Don't waste time journaling every detail, don't see your vacation through the lens of a camera, don't watch your child grow up through the end of a video recorder. Live life to its fullest, immersed completely--even in the seemingly mundane moments for that is where the best future memories often reside.
In another blog, I mentioned feeling guilty for not "documenting" Jon's life as much as I "should." But recently I watched some old home movies and realized that my parents had captured my entire childhood in about 3 hours of footage. That was more than enough to jog my memory and fill in the empty pieces. If every detail had been captured, if I had lived like the character Truman with every minute recorded, there would be no creativity permitted in the selected recollections. Life would have been reduced to a series of stage directions presented in the past tense.