Happy New Year
Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were as good as they looked on Facebook.
My family has a somewhat new tradition on New Year's Eve ... I call it Smoke. No we don't light up cigars (or anything else), but we do go around the dinner table on New Year's Eve and reminisce about all that happened in the past year. Smoke is a reference to the 1995 film starring Harvey Keitel where his character takes a photograph from his smoke shop at the same time every single day; these daily photographs are seemingly mundane but begin to reveal the depth and richness of experience that occurs there every single day.
In Smoke, we keep going around the table until our memories are exhausted. For me, the task of remembering some of the smaller moments was made easy by tools I implemented earlier this year. I expect you too will be in the Loupe by next New Year's Eve to remember the amazing year you had!
My look back on 2016 was made particularly easy this year by the existence of the 5 Minute Journal App. From the time I downloaded in June, I journaled every weekday, excluding days when I was traveling (Bonjournal). After seeing how useful and powerful this Journal is, I am disappointed that I missed any day and won't let it happen again. This app prompts you in the morning with a question, "What will I (you) do to make today great?" This simple question will allow you the opportunity to organize your thoughts about things you want to do versus things you have to do (hmmm, imagine that). In the evening, it prompts you to write down those amazing things that you did, as well as asks the question, "How could I (you) have made today even better?" Sounds a bit hokey, but it will challenge you to be accountable for your present and your future! Further, it prompts you to add a single image for the day. It is the combination of images and the stories behind them that provided great fodder for our New Year's game of Smoke.
I have wrote about this before, but come New Years I am especially appreciative of my year with Bonjournal. I have a short memory (and lots of senior moments). I have a difficult time remembering where I went three Winter Breaks ago, let alone lunch last week. Maybe it is the good fortune of being very busy with adventurous activities, or maybe it was the concussions I sustained playing football (Go Quakers!); either way, activities start to blend together over time. I presume I am not alone here. Therefore, I have been looking for an easy and beautiful way to create a memory place for my family trips. Facebook and Instagram serve a function, but don’t capture the texture of a trip unless one is over posting (you know who you are). A journal or scrapbook requires too much effort, whether its saving scraps, printing pictures, and it never seems to get done (at least in our house). I want to introduce you to Bonjournal which bridges the simplicity of Facebook and the texture and detail of a journal/scrapbook. It is an app that allows you to capture a trip, one topic, story, or day at a time. It is a very effective writing program and easily incorporates photos. I have tried other solutions and find this to be the most effective. You can even make your Bonjournal available to your friends and family so they can follow your trip in real time; no need to catch them up when the trip is over. I found myself taking more pictures with my phone and typing up the events of the day during the downtimes (on the plane, in a taxi, after ordering lunch, etc.).
What better way to capture the big and small events of the year than through video. All you need to do is have your Snapchat Spectacles and be ready to film! Let me be clear, most (all?) adults don't use or understand Snapchat. My kids spend their time continuing their Snapchat streaks by taking pictures of a portion of their face and sending them to friends. All I can surmise is that the expression (aka live emoji), combined with background clues, means something to the receiver. This behavior may seem irrational or odd at best, but it is indeed their way of communication. Now that the glasses (Spectacles) are here, they are hard to get and all the rage with the under 25. As it relates to New Years, they are a great way to capture snippets of what is going on in your real life as it happens (assuming it is sunny out and you are wearing your Spectacles)! All you need to do is press the record button on the frames and the Spectacles will do the rest, 10 seconds at a time. The challenge ... how to get them. You need to find the Snapbot in your area, get there early to get a wristband on a first come, first basis. It's about supply and demand --- hence, the supply is limited each day. Go or send someone in your stead (psst, NY'ers I have some tricks if you need ... just get in touch, via snap chat of course).
Yet another way to record the story of your life in video, without being beholden to the vagaries of SnapChat, is One Second Video. This app allows you to choose either a video (preferable) or a still shot on each and every day and weaves it into a video diary. This is certainly less work then a written diary and provides much of the utility; all you need to do is remember to shoot. At the end of the year, you have a life changing video, your year in 365 seconds ('nuff said). For all you new (or old) parents out there, or for my college Loupers (trust me you won't remember as much of it as you want to), just do it!