WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR MEMORIES?
I encourage everyone to write lists outside of to do lists, or the bite-size packaged “listicles” we come across as clickbait (i.e.“ten signs you’re dying”).
Auto-biographical list-making is a pathway to rediscover memories, preserve stories, kickstart creative projects, visualize dreams, and keep a record of books, films, music, and all the other experiences that have transformed you. Making a list also augments our brain's storage capacity. If it's in a list, then memories are never lost; they never fall behind the mind’s filing cabinet.
If I asked you to list "memorable objects inside your childhood home," or the "places you've lived," a colorful assortment of memories would surface that are unique to you. THIS IS YOUR LISTOGRAPHY. A completed list on, let's say, "songs that remind you of loves from the past" might bring up feelings and memories in the unique way a photograph can––sometimes even more so. I can't make a list on "my favorite games from childhood" without remembering what it was like to hit the white cubes nervously out of the "Don't Break The Ice" game, or my neighbor's dad conducting "Simon Says" in the yard on the 4th of July.
While "to do" lists serve as encouragement, and propel us forward, other lists memorialize. I made lists on "my favorite memories with my mother” along with lists about the details of her life she shared with me. I also made lists on things we said or did during our last couple months together. A few weeks before I lost my mother to cancer, she said to me, "I am really going to miss eating a piece of toast." This moment has remained with me as a gift from her, like Nora Ephron’s list she composed before her death on the things she “will miss” and “not miss” about being alive. Lists can also cultivate gratitude, like "things I love," “favorite things to smell,” or "days I would relive again."
Many of us don't have the time to journal, or the inclination to write an autobiography, so I created my series of journals, and listography.com, to help capture all the experiences that make up a life in easy and sweetly CURATED topics. I've rediscovered many lost memories by making lists––all while creating a beautiful map of my life here on earth.
My mission is to inspire how you keep and collect your memories, all those elements of human experience––including a nice piece of toast!
Now, make some lists . . .