As most of us did, I attended public school where I had all the typical history classes, year after year. And I hated, Every. Single. Class. Anyone with me on that? It was so tedious and boring to try and memorize all those facts! I could not relate to the dry material in my history books, the pictures were lame, small, and not engaging. My father always told me it was important to learn about history so it didn’t repeat itself, but my 15 year-old self heard blah blah blah. I figured I wasn’t going to have enough impact in the world for this to really matter. So, I just did what I needed to, in order to get by with good-enough grades in those classes.
But now, as an adult with three children, and a few decades of understanding how the real world works, I can appreciate the importance of learning history. The COVID-19 catastrophe, or the Corona-tastrophe, as we are referring to it in my house, has many lessons to teach us. We are actively living in a moment that will go down in history. One that absolutely needs to be avoided again in the future, if at all possible. What we do in this situation, will impact how things are in future generations.
Now don’t get excited, I didn’t have a crazy change of heart and become a history teacher. I am also not a nurse, or a doctor, or a scientist. I cannot develop in the cure or immunization, and I do not have the skillset to help those who do. But, what I can do to give back, is teach future generations about what it was like during this time, for those of us who lived it. I can use graphs to show how quickly the disease spread, I can share news headlines declaring the state of the country. I can offer photos of what it was like for our family and how we survived. I am not a teacher, but I can teach.
So, I have decided to build a time capsule. The definition of a time capsule, as per Wikipedia, is as follows: A time capsule is a historic cache of goods or information, usually intended as a deliberate method of communication with future people, and to help future archaeologists, anthropologists, or historians.
Now, I know you know what a time capsule is, but the key words there are “a deliberate method of communication with FUTURE people”. We now live in a time where we can deliberately save, store, and share digital media for future generations. This is so exciting! What do you think your ancestors would say, if they could have told you first-hand about the Great Depression? The Civil War? Or any other historical event? Wouldn’t history be so much more relatable, relevant and more easily understood if it were told in a more modern form of a personal story, or news headline?
I encourage you to join me in creating a time capsule to tell your story, in your own words, to your own family. Sure, some of your family will live through this with you, but there are generations to come who aren’t even born yet, who don’t know what things were like before COVID-19 appeared, what it was like during its’ most aggressive time period, and how it changed the world afterwards. The truth is, at this point, we still don’t know what the world will look like when this is all over, but we can begin preserving history now, by documenting our experience.
So how will I get that digital time capsule to future generations? I thought you’d never ask. I use a platform called FOREVER.com to store my photos. I like this site because it is uniquely designed to pass on digital information, of my choosing, from one generation to the next. Not only does it have secure digital storage, it is guaranteed for one lifetime plus 100 years, which, if you do the math, is more than just the next generation. I want my great, great-grandchildren to learn about this time, first-hand. COVID-19 is unlike anything else because it has affected so many parts of the world, in very similar, yet vastly different ways.
Work with me, to share this story, so we can teach future generations how to potentially avoid situations like this, survive them if they arise again, and see that with great change, comes great opportunity.
Scan the QR code below or click here to learn more!You can also check out my virtual time capsule here!
Have you ever looked at a photo and become flooded with emotion? It is amazing how that happens! A quick glance can send you into a state of pure joy, happiness, longing for someone you miss, or a multitude of other emotions.
This past weekend we were out on the boat, that we have the pleasure of using because my father, who passed away 11 years ago, had left it behind for us. We were cruising around the lake, pulling my sons on the inflatable tube behind us. My 4-year-old daughter, who is too little to ride the tube quite yet (although she begs to differ) was sitting on my lap. She snuggled in close and the next thing I knew she was asleep in my arms. She has not slept in my arms since she was an infant! I felt so comforted knowing that she could still let her guard down and snuggle in.
When I look back on this photo, I don’t just see a sleeping child. I see my baby, my youngest child being vulnerable. I feel the presence of my father, his love, him looking down on us and smiling. I see the joy in my boys’ faces as they bounce around on the tube and the purity of my daughter as she sleeps in my arms.
Photos aren’t always just about remembering the good times, they are also about recording the moments that are so meaningful and wonderful that we want the opportunity to relive again in the future.
This photo represents family, love, joy, a life of hard work to provide such experiences and a legacy that will not be forgotten.
I am so grateful to have these moments, and the photos of them that bring me joy time and time again
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Do you have a graduating senior in your family? Someone graduating from high school? How are they celebrating? Are they able to have a party? Has their graduation ceremony been modified, or worse, cancelled?
What about those moving on from college into the real world, only to be faced with a troubled job market and professional opportunities revoked?
And let’s not forget about your little one who completed pre-school and is moving onto Kindergarten! Was there a drive-by good-bye to the teachers or just a letter sent home thanking you for being a part of their “pre-school family” all those years?
As parents, we might feel more slighted than the kids do, after all they had no expectation of a graduation to begin with!
There are so many different ways schools have gone about trying to make graduation a special event, despite the inability to hold traditional ceremonies.
These students deserve to celebrate, to hug it out or fist bump each other.
They’ve earned the right to don their caps and gowns and strut across the stage only to throw their caps in the air, and they certainly earned the recognition for the hard work they’ve put in over the past however many years.
They’ve been cheated out of many of these pieces and for that, I am sorry.
But this is their reality, and any big moment experienced is worth recording, no matter how it played out.
I hope this is the last generation of graduates who celebrates from a distance, but there is something there that makes them special.
Like rain on a wedding day, no one asks for it, wants it, or is happy about it when it happens.
But it does make it memorable and special in its own way. Capture these moments.
Yes, of course your graduate will remember sitting in the car, waiting for his turn to be called up to walk across the parking lot and collect his diploma.
But, will he remember how he felt?
Or will he remember the masks on everyone’s face instead?
Did he have the earned benefit of feeling proud or rather did he feel nothing but nerves about being around others?
Was he disappointed that he couldn’t high-five his buddies after years of working together?
Or was he just happy for it to be over?
Emotions are part of the experience as a whole, and they are harder to capture.
Take a moment and ask your graduate to create a few minute video describing what it felt like to cross the threshold during a pandemic.
You are likely to be surprised by his answer!
Ask your 5 year-old how they feel about moving onward and upward to Kindergarten – they are less likely to remember how they felt, and less likely to realize their experience is any different from anyone else’s.
When the rain settles, and the wedding is over, the result is the same – a happily married couple who can’t wait to see what the world has in store for them.
The same is for these graduates, and despite these being challenging times, we need to remember to congratulate, honor and celebrate those who have put forth the hard work and achieved success.
Check in on them, ask how they are doing, and encourage them to record their experience.
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