My Memory List: An Exercise For Mental Health

My lovely friend Mindy does this fascinating thing where, at the start of a given year, she writes down all the memories she wants to create — and then blogs about them as she intentionally makes those memories, a loving time capsule of joy.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a glorious exercise in positive mental health. It’s very much taking up joyful space on purpose. And that is how I want to live in these dark times.

Why Start a Memory List Now?

My recent life has been very much on hold–first when we stayed home for three hundred and sixty-four days thanks to COVID, and then a series of ridiculously challenging life events that piled, one on top of another like . This week is proving that this may just be the new normal: trauma after trauma.

But in spite of everything, in spite of all the pain and grief and exhaustion, we’ve still managed to make some incredible memories, to love and find joy through everything else.

Image of Text: I don't want to GET through this. I want to love through this, grieve through this, laugh through this, scream through this, learn through this, open through this, grow through this.

What’s Stopped Me Before

I have two nasty little voices inside of me as I consider writing this list today:

  1. The first snarls not to share your joy with the world — they won’t care nor will they be happy for you. How dare you be happy? Don’t you know that it’s bragging? Not to mention, doesn’t it just sugarcoat the best of life rather than the challenging parts?
  2. The second whispers not to share your challenges–you’re pandering. Looking for sympathy. The world has bigger problems than yours, obviously. Nobody cares, so why share? #toxicpositivity #alwayslookonthebrightsideoflife

Both of these voices sound suspiciously like depression if you ask me.

And I’m done feeding that nasty emotion.

My Memory List: Planned and Retrospective

So, I’m going to start a memory list. Some will be retroactive, like when Jason and I went kayaking through eerily glowing bioluminescence–that would have been #1 on my list of “Things I Wanted To Do But Couldn’t”. Others will be planned — the memories I want to make this year.

I don’t have the luxury of getting to share this beautiful stuff with my mom, so. Dear friends from near and far and internet strangers will have to fill that gap. Perhaps it will make it easier to do life without her. ❤


  1. Elena Dosil says:

    Looking forward to your list. I hope it inspires me.


  2. Storyteller says:

    Thing is you can offload in blogs. If people don’t like what they read they can just read something else. I had a gratefulness journal a friend gave at the start of Covid. It was good as a distraction. I like your friends idea. That way even if it doesn’t get to happen you can still relish in the excitement of what could happen

    Liked by 1 person

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