The importance of reminiscing
It’s amazing how quickly the festive season comes around each year. This year, I’m spending a few weeks in India, a country that has always fascinated me. In addition to hundreds of photos, I’ll be accumulating memories that are unique and fascinating to me.
Memories are a powerful thing. People often say they have a bad memory, but all of us have a subconscious that keeps ticking along, throwing up smells or songs or pictures that are valuable to us and form part of our personal histories.
It’s been proven that reminiscing is essential to self-esteem. Sharing stories of old work colleagues, turbulent childhoods, a favourite show, a funny joke, an unexpected encounter, an adored uncle or a beloved pet enable people to connect with others, and reinforce their sense of self.
And no two memory banks are identical. None of us are strangers to a shared memory where somebody remembers a particular conversation as hilarious and the other as disastrous. This is particularly important to remember when talking with our elders about their past. The details are not as important as allowing them the time to share a story with you, or for you to share a story that includes them.
Reminiscing doesn’t have to be all spoken either. Memory boxes of treasured objects, favourite records uploaded to a CD to share at meal times, old photos, a comfy cushion or an array of homemade goodies can all spark a conversation or a positive feeling for somebody.
So this festive season, as you build new memories, don’t forget to take the time out to reminisce about older ones. You never know what you might discover!
In the meantime, all the best to each and every one of you and may your 2015 be extraordinary.