Making Usable Memories

I needed to backup my photos. Instead of using my external hard drive this time I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade my technology — to the cloud. I bought a terabyte of Dropbox and over the course of several days copied all my photos for safe keeping. As I moved my files over I realized there was no difference between my folders of digital photos and the boxes of photos my mom kept in her basement. All these memories tucked away with the intention that one day I would do something with them. Buy a digital frame? Create a scrapbook? Print a photo book? There was only one time I did something different that I actually did enjoy; I took one second of video every single day.

I started the project after seeing an article by George Stroumboulopoulos about a man who turned his life into a movie by filming a second every single day. I found it inspiring that I would be able to view my memories in a quick format and actually see my life progress. With one second every day it takes just over six minutes to view an entire year.

If your life is worth living, it’s worth recording. — Tony Robbins

I felt inspired and started my own video journal. It made me curious what a year of filming would make my life look like. I chose a random day and started. My life was too important to me not to record it. And although many days were quite random and some of them didn’t involve much, I knew the consistency of recording would outweigh the mundane.

I would edit the few seconds of video every couple of months into an ongoing movie project and continue on. I began to look forward to my days, waking up in the morning thinking what my highlight that day would be, and remembering (on most days) to record that moment. I started to put more value into my life. I amazed myself with what I wanted my life to mean. The video clips provided something the pictures never did — animation to my life. The sound of people’s voices; movements that spur memories in a way the photos lacked. Seeing myself in the videos also showed the slight ways I would change my hair, how I acted and I could remember the emotions I felt in some of those days.

Unfortunately once I finished the first project I slowly began forgetting to take video every day. I started again, stopped and started again. But like all projects, and habits, I finally asked myself “why is this important”? I know this project is the only thing that I can do consistently that will allow me to hold onto my memories in a format that I will reflect on regularly. I am now starting again and this time it will finally take.

How do you keep your memories preserved? What actions have you taken to keep your photos and memories in your daily life?


Kim Orlesky is an Executive Life Coach inspiring daily joy. Her focus is to help individuals find life balance by understanding their barriers and prioritizing important aspects of life.

She is a world traveller, author, one-time marathoner, adventurer, poor golfer, inconsistent yogi and puppy parent to her Weimaraner. She is currently based in Calgary, Canada.

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