Narratives are wonderful, but not all the memories you preserve have to be straight narratives. The purpose of preserving your memories is connecting. Connecting, by extension, involves letting others get to know you better. A list of your favorite things can do just that.
Knowing that you like raindrops on roses isn’t going to explain the depths of your soul to your loved ones, but it will enable people to relate to you on a more personal level. Just as stories and scrapbook pages benefit from layers, knowing what your hobbies are, what you collect, and what you enjoy adds texture to your personality.
In addition, some of the things you love might surprise people. For instance, my husband’s grandfather was an engineer and ham radio enthusiast. It comes as no surprise that he preferred non-fiction to fiction, but the fact that he was a fiddle player (yes, fiddle—not violin) surprised me, as did the fact that he took up the cello in his sixties.
There are quite a few creative options on making such a list.
- Simply start writing or brainstorming in a journal or word-processing program.
- List your likes by categories—food, collectibles, free time, books, etc.
- Rank your favorites (unless your favorites include your kids)
- Go with the desert island theme: “If I had to live on a desert island and could only take x things with me, I would pack…” Whom would you want to take with you?
- Draw or take pictures of your favorites and mount them on a scrapbook page or make a collage with them.
- Make a word cloud—you can make your own or use a program such as Wordle.net.
- Use Pinterest to “pin” your favorites and share your boards. (Tutorial coming soon) To see an example of a board, see my board of ideas for memory sharing.
- List your favorite things by age. What were your favorite activities as a child or young adult versus your current favorite activities? What about your favorite possessions?
- Use a video camera and record your own “show and tell” session.
What are your favorite things?
(c) Laura Hedgecock 2013