Scrapbook of everyday life

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Are you going to find a way to scrapbook your scrapbooking memories? Estee Janssens via Unsplash

The moments in our life don’t have to be good or bad – they can simply be

Our memories are scrapbooks consisting of an endless number of moments that we can never return to but will continue to carry with us.

Doesn’t that sound beautiful? It can be, and oftentimes it is. We carry the memories and stories of those that we love, those who may no longer be with us, and of those who we still care for but may no longer be in touch with. These countless moments have continued to shape us into the people that we are.

These moments may not always seem like they are significant. They may be something as simple as remembering an old friend for a brief second when you order a ridiculous coffee that reminds you of them on a cold afternoon. They may also seem to be everything, like remembering your grandmother every time you scan your bookcase and see one of the children’s books you used to read together and the investment she had, in you and your well-being.

But what do we do with those snapshot moments of our lives that aren’t so great? How do we continue to move forward when we are reminded of them and the pain that they caused for us and those we care about constantly? When we want nothing more than to throw them away and never look at them again?

I so desperately wish that I had an answer to that question. I wish there was a way to diminish the amount of space these moments hold, if not to be rid of them altogether. There are many photos in my own life scrapbook that I would not mind burning as I’m sure everyone has, and yet we are forced to continue carrying them as though they are not harmful to us.

I think this can be strangely beautiful too. If we only focused on the good and ignored everything negative that we have been handed, we would not be able to appreciate the ways that we have grown in as meaningful of a way. Flipping back to those darker times can help us avoid potentially going back to them by allowing us the knowledge and strength to push forward. Things might be hard, but they’re supposed to be. Anything worth having is not something that is simply placed in your lap. The successes and joys that we have are the same. They would not hold the same significance in our lives if there were not bad things in our lives to compare them to.

We have all heard those cheesy, overused sayings about needing rain to experience a rainbow, among others. But do we need to look at such a specific perspective of the situations? Must everything only be good or bad, happy or sad, black or white?

Personally, I am content coming out of a bad situation and just simply being in a neutral spot. Just because things are not bad does not mean that they are going to be good, and that is perfectly okay. Sometimes, we need to just simply be.

Experiencing such a jarring emotional rollercoaster of such aggressive highs and lows would be very taxing on the system. Sometimes, being in a neutral place is better than pushing ourselves to be experiencing something else.

 I think we oftentimes forget that this is an option for us to exist in. Just like with a physical scrapbook that we are creating, we capture the moments that we see and consider to be the most worthwhile and noteworthy. These are not ones that are mundane and every day. You never see photos of people taking a nap or getting ready for work in the morning. These are not considered to be exciting or noteworthy activities, so we do not bother with documenting them.

We do this internally with the moments of rest we take. These are not moments that are worthy of being acknowledged and as a result they are not worth taking the time to think about for longer than a fleeting moment.

To be better equipped to handle the negative moments that will inevitably find their way to us once more, we must give time, space, and acknowledgement to the moments we take to slow down and to breath. To be neutral is to not be indecisive or unproductive. To be neutral is to take care of oneself by not investing our energy or time into the things that do not serve us.

As much as we would all enjoy having the opportunity to fill our life scrapbook with joyous, beautiful moments that bring nothing but positivity with them, that is not something that can realistically be accomplished. We must cherish the good moments, allow time for the neutral moments, and acknowledge the bad moments for what they are.

By fighting against the way in which life naturally progresses, we do a disservice to our own life and to the experiences of those around us. Accepting the highs, the lows, and the pauses in between allow us to not only be cared for and looked after, but to also allow a greater opportunity to enjoy the smaller highs a lot more.

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