Photographic Memories

How to preserve your romantic history together

No matter how long you've been married, every couple has threads of shared experiences that weave them together. You no doubt remember your first date. How about the night you were engaged? My husband and I swore we would never forget a single minute of our honeymoon.

Unfortunately, there are other equally important dates we can't remember—such as what we did for our first anniversary, or what Christmas presents we bought each other that first year. I can tell you where we stayed when we visited Italy, though, because when my husband was stationed overseas, I started to organize our memories.

By that I mean I started organizing our photographs. I realized that without some way to chronicle our adventures, I would eventually forget. Photos became a way to preserve married memories. Have you noticed how an old photograph can unlock memories you would have never recalled? But if your photos are stuffed into a drawer or hidden in a closet, going through them becomes a chore rather than a pleasure. Here are some tips to start organizing your photographs so you can have access to them whenever you want, to relive those good memories of your marriage.

Getting started

Beginning is the biggest hurdle. While any new habit takes effort, the secret is to start simple. For most people that box filled with mixed-up, jumbled photographs presents an obstacle too large to face. Instead of dealing with that looming giant, start with organizing the roll of film you picked up yesterday.

This accomplishes two things. First, it excuses you from a task you dread. That dread could become your excuse to procrastinate another year or two. You may not have the time to take on a big project, so start small. Second, if you begin with current photos, you won't keep adding to the pile. If you don't organize your current photos, but simply shove them in the photo box to deal with later, the task can feel as if you're climbing up the down escalator! Of course, if you take only two rolls of film per year, your backlog won't be as daunting as a shutterbug who buys film in bulk. If your mountain of old photos feels insurmountable, set in place a working system, then think about going back.

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Creativity; Marriage; Reflection
Today's Christian Woman, Spring, 2004
Posted September 12, 2008

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