This is a bit of perspective on how this blog came about and how I chose the topics I write about. I was quite simply exploring the question of what brought me joy when I chose my blog topic. I wanted to use my web presence to share the feeling of rifling through a box of mementos or the joy of seeing a cute photo of someone I love just being themselves. Since I was a little girl I have kept souvenirs. Years after a trip to England my Mum found a trail of ants removing the contents of a paper packet of sugar I’d taped into my personal souvenir album. Grain by grain.
These mementos are amongst my most precious and personal possessions because they evoke the happy sensations of past experiences. When I was looking through photos that I found images of artfully arranged confectioner’s windows, mountains topped with snow, open roads lined with swaying grassland and the sun glittering off rippling water. Every one of the photos brought back memories of holidays, special people and happy times.
So many little things in my home have the ability to transport me to another time or place. Opening a bottle of green apple shampoo transports me instantly back to the best of bathtimes. Sudsy hair piled up in crazy bathtub salon styles. Fits of giggles between sisters at the silliness.
It’s funny how many experiences and childhood games can span families, cultures and countries. We had family rituals for table manners, our own words for popular songs and expressions that made up a language all of our own. We knew each other’s tells over card games and handed dresses down as we grew. More over I realised that many of my memories were shared with other people and their families. Friends from both Australia and Europe shared recollections of playing dress ups or collecting shells on their first trip to the beach.
There are a number of studies finding positive psychological benefits can be had from invoking memories (Kensinger, 2013., Johnson et al., 2013, p.66). For me the studies are not needed. Sometimes the pleasure of reflecting on a happy time is as simple as it sounds (New York Times, 2013). Putting together this blog is enjoyable for me, the potential for readers to also recollect happy times is an added bonus.
Johnson, J., Gooding, P., Wood, A., Fair, K. & Tarrier, N. (2013). A Therapeutic Tool for Boosting Mood: The Broad-Minded Affective Coping Procedure (BMAC). Therapy and Research, 37, 61-70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10608-012-9453-8.
Kensinger, R. (2013). Nostalgia Does the Brain Good. Brain Blogger: Health & Healthcare. Retrieved from: http://brainblogger.com/2013/10/01/nostalgia-does-the-brain-good/.
New York Times. (2013). A Happy Memory: [Letter]. New York Times, Late Edition 07 Aug 2005. Retrieved from: http://search.proquest.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/.