Memories are what our times are made of. Some of life’s memories leave you longing to rewind the clock while others have you scampering to blank out and forget your pains. Some memories leave a physical mark while others pop up sweet and nostalgic at every turn.
Often times we do not think of creating memories – they kind of happen; when we think back to a certain period in our lives, events or people. But with the hectic pace of today’s living, even the little that is left of our times together as earth bound sojourners may be glazed over unless we do something deliberate about it
Memories can bind us firmly together, fortifying our relationships, sending us the reminders and signals of the attractive traits we each possess which endear us to one another. Happy memories can be consciously created with a little planning and tweaking of our daily routines.
Here are some of my tips to getting those memories for you, your family and friends:
Make a decision today to begin to work at creating memories for your loved ones and colleagues. You can do so in so many effective and simple ways. Plan for a vacation, an outing to watch movies, a music concert, a party. These events can be so arranged that you don’t have to stop work or break the bank to get it done
Check out your local tourist sites and events on the web and together as a family choose the one that most appeals to you. Remember to check your wallet and security of the places for the visit. Ask questions at nearby churches, Local council or even the fast food restaurant. You can time your getaways to coincide with the public holidays in your community. Check out posters in the streets, hand bills and find out from those on road show what it’s all about. You could strike gold here.
- GET CREATIVE- TOGETHER
There are so many things you can do together to explore your creative abilities and make new memories. You can take up different crafts, you can paint or write as a freelance, expand your hobby, teach the kids at your church, learn to play a musical instrument or swim. But to make these activities memory worthy, do it together with someone close to your heart.
I remember my Dad patiently teaching us paper folding to keep us busy during the holidays. He even told us where to get waste paper from the mini printing presses not far from my primary school at Onitsha. We made Chinese lanterns (sans the bulbs), Christmas decorations, we drew, moulded and generally made a huge mess but we had stories to tell our friends, our imaginations were given full reign and we enjoyed it.
- PLAY MUSIC
Nothing quite creates lasting memories like music. The times of our lives are easily distinguished by music. The songs that were in vogue when I was in primary school still warm my heart when I hear them! All other activities- our church outing, the birthday parties, my walking to school on the busy roads with the loudspeakers blaring out tracks by Felix Liberty still have me reminiscing. In my mind’s eye, I can still see the snacks lady at her corner with balls of buns in hot oil and hungry customers patiently waiting to be served.
- USE TECHNOLOGY
Now this one is the king of creating memories. Pictures, audios and videos can easily be taken by anyone with a camera, cell phone or tablet. Videos have this uncanny ability to capture moments and trivia that may not catch the attention but on their own are memory worthy and exciting. Audios are gems on their own and are excellent for those occasions when learning is important. And pictures, anybody anywhere can take great fotos! All that is required is a good gadget and eye for light and posture. Creating virtual albums or videos is as easy as ABC! Do remember to get a pro to take the pics so you can live out the moment in full!
- MAKE A MEAL AND EAT TOGETHER
If I remember correctly, Christmas celebrations back in the day usually centred on a parade of us children in our new frocks going to church (God bless my soul), frenzied food preparations in the open with everyone helping out! From peeling onions to mixing jollof rice, vision of steaming pots, fried meat and unruly children, ecstatic about the celebrations fill my mind. Music by Sunny Okosuns floats in the air. Masquerades in their spooky regalia, brandishing their long canes walk by on the sandy roads. We children squeal with delight as we run from them raising harmattan dust and coughing in the process!
Old fashioned eating styles with heaped trays of rice (those round enamel trays) topped with chunky cuts of beef and spoons of a varied number tucked in meaning come one come all ‘cos food is ready! #MychildhoodvillageChristmas. As an adult now, the vision is still live in my mind!
- CHOOSE A COLOUR
Select a theme colour for your event. Herein lies the aso-ebi concept. A wide variety of colours and themes are available. From blue jeans to auto gele, white shirts to wearing burgundy for your outing, memories of that particular day will be evergreen simply because an item of clothing is tied to that event
- ADD SCENTS
Scents, perfumes and aromas have their own way of tickling your imagination and evoking memories of events or people. Odours or smells have this ability to help you recall long forgotten memories due to the way our brain processes cue from fragrances or aromas from the environment
A keen sense of smell had me recalling the brown Cortina sandals I wore on my first day to school. Memories of that day came flooding back –from the jostling for seats to the vision of the long cane the teacher held up for us newbies to see!
You can create memories for yourself and loved ones using particular scents in your home. Personally I love the smell of green apples by Air Wick. From the ward robes to the sitting rooms, I have air fresheners tucked in at corners to create this light but welcoming ambience. Go the whole hog, use a particular scented soap, wear a light fragrance to bed night after night. Give your loved ones a fragrant memory of home, of you and even of an event.
- CHOOSE TO LAUGH
Now I’m not asking you to become Basket Mouth or Okey Bakasi but creating moments of jest is not too difficult. Remember the words your grandma used to scold you when you visited as young child or even a particular teacher in your secondary school that dresses funny? That’s enough to evoke memories that will have you rippling with laughter. Like one of the instructors at a children class in my church. The man always wore a red short to the class. We children were too distracted to learn his proper name so we called him Knicker Red! Mimicking voices, habits or dressing patterns that are funny will quickly open doors to memories that put a smile on your face.
- ENJOY THE MOMENT!
Quit taking pictures for your social media pals and focus on the reason why you are at this place or event! Enjoy the scenery, interact with others, savour the fare and generally be the life of the event. Trying to capture events or people on camera means a change of focus from the scenario before you to angling for better shots for the camera. You end up losing sight of the reason you are there and chances are your recall powers will also dim!
Yaaayy! A lot of places to visit comes to mind thanks to TV, Internet and false grand stories of those who have been lucky to step off the shores of this country. From down under to Alaska, television promises us wonderful sights, exotic dishes and new friends in far off places. I’m like why not? A trip to anywhere other than my city is a welcome idea. I mean have all your kids been to Lagos or the Ogbunike cave? Meanwhile you live in Nigeria hmm. I really would love to go to China and eat genuine Chinese food but I can’t afford it
So a planned trip to Gurara Falls, Agulu Lake or the nation’s capital will give you all the excitement you need. After all no Nigerian has been to all the nooks and crannies of this great country but if you like to claim your grandpa is the Mungo Park of his time, I welcome the evidence. Prove it!
I’ve never really been on the lookout for moments of great memories. Neither have I been known for spontaneous gigs and celebrations, but the novelty of the party I put together for all my nephews and nieces in August 2018 still leaves me amazed at human capabilities.
Just because I invited my new neighbours over, my children quickly turned it into a party and called their cousins! Before I could say cheese, we had a menu, a makeshift DJ and order for snacks was underway. We had over 15 visitors!
At a point, I resolved to take a back seat and watch the unfolding drama. I was not disappointed! The girls did their best to prepare a good dish of Jollof rice and chicken (I had to step in and help though). The boys ordered drinks and snacks frisking my purse in the process.
With a photographer on the way, dressing up started and all types interactions played out before my eyes. But in, all we had fun, their creativity at keeping themselves entertained was tested and yes, we partied till late evening.