It has been said that the only thing human beings can truly cling to is memory. Memories are what keep families close. They are what keep legacies alive long after those who created the memories have passed on. If you believe in the power of memories to bond families together, do you also agree that they are more important than stuff?
We Americans have been raised on consumerism. Most of us continue pursuing consumerism throughout our entire adult lives. Yet consumerism has its drawbacks. Among them is the fact that it tends to produce physical possessions that, in and of themselves, have no real value beyond monetary price.
All of this is to say that memories are more valuable than things. Best of all, focusing on making memories does not have to be expensive. Low-cost activities can be just as satisfying. It is all about spending quality time together, enjoying one another’s company along with some shared activities.
Time Passes Forever
Those who have mastered the art of making long-lasting memories have also mastered the reality that time is fleeting. They understand that, unlike money, time is irreplaceable. Once it passes, time is gone forever. There is no getting it back. So what does it matter if you spend 40 years working as hard as you can so that you have physical wealth to pass on to children and grandchildren?
Your love ones might remember just how hard a worker you were. But is that all they will know about you? Will they remember you as someone who loved to laugh and sing? Will they remember you as someone who valued time with the grandkids? Will they remember the important life principles you taught them?
Time ultimately reveals the answers to these questions for every life. Each of us has the opportunity to influence those answers. We can either spend our lives pursuing things or invest our time and resources in one another. Choosing the latter is the starting point for making those long-lasting memories that keep legacies alive.
It’s about the Experience
It is good to remember that the best memories are about experiences. Think of your fondest memories of childhood. If you are like most people, those memories surround experiences you shared with family members and friends. Perhaps you remember Christmas dinner at grandmother’s house. Maybe your favorite memory is racing down the hill on your bike with your brother or sister at your side.
Sure, material possessions can enhance experiences. You cannot very well race your bike if you do not have a bike. You can’t make memories of fishing with your child if you can’t afford to buy the necessary equipment. Material possessions do have their place. However, possessions should be a tool for making memories rather than an entity unto themselves.
Make It about the Kids
The title of this post implies making memories with your kids. No worries, this author has not forgotten. Everything you have read thus far explains the underlying principles of making good memories that last. If you focus memory-making on your kids and keep material possessions in perspective, the results will be golden.
How do you make memories with the kids and save money at the same time? By thinking like a kid. Run around outside and toss a ball. It costs you nothing. Choose one night per week and make it board game night. Take your kids into the kitchen and teach them how to cook. For kids, it is not about the stuff. It’s about spending time with mom and dad. It is that simple.