good life – intentional memories
Part of cultivating a good life is being intentional about creating memories.
I wrote about being intentional in last week’s Good Life post and I’m using that word again today. To move forward with real intent and purpose is what many of us have on our minds and in our hearts right now as we kick off a new year. And because many of you reading this have an interest in making and preserving memories, I hope the thoughts I’m sharing with you will resonate.
About 3 or 4 years ago, David and I took the kids to Utah to visit family and friends as we tend to do at least once a year. Only this time we decided we would fit in some skiing. David and I and our friend Jen would ski the first day, then we would bring the kids along the following day. When the three of us got off the lift at the top, I fell straight away. I got up, inched forward … and fell again. Then I looked down that mountain. And it hit me.
I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how to ski.
I’m not sure how this didn’t really occur to me before I got to the top of the mountain. And if you are familiar with the mountains in Utah, this was no joke. I was terrified. My experience skiing once – maybe twice – was not helping me out in this situation. I skied as a teenager… more than 20 years ago… in Pennsylvania where it’s definitely more “hilly” and not so much mountainous.
I insisted that David and Jen go on without me. I was going to figure this out on my own and I was not going to hold them back. I’ll spare you the details of what it took to get me back to the base (mostly prayer!) … and I won’t talk about the fact that I ended up on black diamond tracks and moguls … but 2 or 3 hours after I took my first tumble, I was back safe & sound with David and Jen.
By the time I reached the bottom, I was physically and emotionally drained. I was exhausted. I was frustrated. I was 100% ready to quit. Not just for the day. I was done with skiing forever and always. I had no interest in ever putting skis on my feet again. As I sipped on my soup and fought back my tears, David and Jen proceeded to tell me that I had to take a ski lesson. In fact, David had already enrolled me in a one-on-one lesson with Bryce.
Naturally, I refused. But again, to spare you more details, I did have that ski lesson with Bryce, who would become my new best friend that day. I learned to ski. I learned how to decrease my chances of falling. I learned how to get up when I did fall. I learned technique. I also learned to not be bitter about the sport that I was certain was the most dangerous sport after my experience hours earlier.
So what on earth does this have to do with being intentional about creating memories? I promise I have a point, if you’ve stuck with me this far. I for sure do not have an innate desire to ski. I do not naturally wake up on any given morning of any winter day thinking, “You know what would be fun? I want to ski today!” But you know what I’ve done every winter since that most memorable day? I have skied.
If I don’t love it so much, why do I force myself to get out there? Because I love my husband. David loves to ski. And I want to share those memories with him – and with the kids. Because he wants them to learn. And they’re learning.
I ski because I’m trying to be intentional in making memories with my family. We are bonding. We are enjoying the time together as we sharpen our skills with a sport, all the while getting fresh air! And you know what? I’ve grown to really like skiing. I still don’t wake up wanting to hit the slopes (told you it’s not an innate desire for me), but once I get going I find joy in the experience. And I’m not so terrible anymore, so that’s a bonus.
This year I’m trying to be more intentional in making memories, whether it puts me outside of my comfort zone – or not. I want to read to my kids while they’re eating breakfast the way I used to. I want to be better about one-on-one dates with each of the kids. I want to be more intentional and regular with weekly dedicated “family nights.” I want to play more games and do more activities that the kids want to do. These things, to me, would be cultivating a good life.
We are so glad to know that you’ve enjoyed the Good Life series on the blog last year. I’m pleased to share that we have every intent to carry on the weekly tradition of sharing a new guest post every Sunday of every week in 2015.