In order to stand out, to be memorable, it seems as if we have to do the amazing, be the ridiculous, or strive to be the most beautiful. Getting married, having children, graduating from college…we are lead to believe that these are the boring things that happen to everyone. They don’t make you special and these accomplishments certainly don’t point towards a memorable life. YouTube is filled with videos that celebrate life lived on high adrenaline and high-risk behaviors. But is this really what we must do to live a memorable life?
I think it’s much simpler than all that.
To live a memorable life, be the kind of person who remembers to remember.
Be engaged, invested, and interested in others. Be in the moment, involved in the conversation, actively listening to others to those who you encounter during the day. Connect with people on their special days in their lives, like birthdays, graduations, promotions, and anniversaries. And also remember them in smaller moments, like a shared memory.
A recent conversation with a friend brought up memories of Son #1 when he was a little baby. We both shared a memory of a 7-month-old boy, sitting on a hotel bedspread, wearing a certain plaid outfit complete with matching hat. It wasn’t a memory made from a thrilling adventure. It was a memory made of love. One of our favorites.
People like other people who make them feel special.
One of my special friends lives 1000 miles away. The great thing about us is we can pick up the phone and feel like we’ve never been separated. We met when our husbands were relocated to a new state for work and we both lived in a hotel for several months during the move. I felt special because my friend and her husband described Son #1 as the “cutest baby ever”. My friend felt special because I trusted her and her husband to care for my little baby when I needed to attend a social function. I knew she would be a great mother before she even had a thought about having kids.
Now my friend has two children of her own. When we talk, we talk about the challenges of raising children. We share stories of failures we feel as mothers, the triumphs we see in each other, and plans for being better parents. We haven’t seen each other in 8 years, but I count her as one of my closest friends because of the way she makes me feel when I talk with her.
In my eyes, she is living a memorable life.