We go through life creating memories. Each memory is like a postcard we send to a future self. A postcard we’ll receive at some point later in life, turn it over and over in our hands, admiring the creases, the coffee stains and remembering. Something will trigger the delivery of that postcard. Maybe it will be a song that remembers when, or the smell of perfume that a certain person used to wear.
Our lives are really just a collection of moments remembered. Postcards in a stack. Some of them we turn over and over in our minds, savoring the experience or smarting at a sting. Some postcards we look at with regret. We hold them and wish we’d done something differently. Maybe there was a moment we didn’t seize, something we wish we’d said, someone we wish we’d talked to longer. Whichever way, there is a reason we remember. A reason we sent that postcard into the future, and a reason it was delivered at just this time, so we could remember.
Of course, life’s postcard production and delivery system charges prices and postage just like the normal system. The postage is paid in time. We pay for the postcard in the first place by spending the time to create the moment. Then we pay for the postage with the intervening time and other postcards bought and sent…
Some postcards are cheap like a dinner with friends. It only costs us a few hours and maybe we’ll cherish that evening for the rest of our lives. Some postcards are expensive, like getting married. Whether the marriage works out or not is irrelevant to the postcard. The end result may affect how we react when that postcard is delivered to us years later on the back of a worn wedding ring clinking against a coffee cup, or the feel of a pen in our hand, signing divorce paperwork. Ultimately it doesn’t matter to the postcard. The postcard is just the memory of that special day, spent however we spent it, good or bad. Our past lives are all just a collection of memories, once lived.
Every day we have to make choices that affect our future memories. How many days do we live where we do nothing memorable? How many days have you lived that you couldn’t remember if you tried? Where there is nothing that can trigger a memory to deliver a postcard that was never formed?
How many months?
I once heard a quote, whose source I can’t recall that went something like this…
“Every time we come to a crossroads in life, every time we have to make a choice, always pick the fork in the road that makes the best memories.”
Collectively the postcards are everything we have, and our stack of postcards define absolutely everything about who we are and how we see ourselves.
Let’s make as many “Picture Perfect Postcards” as we can!