A few weeks ago I wrote a guest post for Penny at Lillies and Love, about the importance, for me at least, of finding a balance between having lovely photos to remind yourself of all the wonderful times in your life, and not feeling the need to document every moment of your life. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how important memories are, and how big a comfort they can be when your life changes.
With that in mind, I’ve been trying to have as many experiences as possible. For me, this doesn’t mean abseiling down a building or jumping out of a plane (though I would like to do a skydive one day). I want to fill as much of my time with doing things that are going to create the best memories.
I don’t have a lot of disposable cash, and therefore I can’t afford to buy myself a lot of things. I have a phone that works, and I treated myself to a Kindle with some vouchers I had, but recently I’ve realised that rather than lots of things, I’d rather spend what money I do have on doing things. I’ve come to realise that I love buying tickets for things.
In March, I went on the BBC Broadcasting House tour, and then went to see Mark Kermode present a film that he loves. In June, I went to see Dr K again, chairing a debate on film critics, and I went to see Derren Brown’s live show. In July, I went to see The Shires in London. In August I went to meet Steve Backshall and get a book signed (no ticket necessary), and then I went to Singalonga Dirty Dancing. This month, I am off to a book event tomorrow, Hyde Park for Radio 2’s Festival in Day on Sunday, an Itchcraft event with Simon Mayo next Saturday, and I’m running* in Run or Dye the weekend after. In October, I’m going to see Singalonga Frozen, and then in November, I’m going to see The Shires and Ward Thomas in concert. No concrete plans for December yet, but there is talk of a West End show if we can all get together.
I know that an awful lot of those things seem to revolve around celebrities, but the truth of the matter is that more often than not, these famous people are talking about something I find interesting. And it may seem that I have endless funds for gallivanting around: I don’t really, but as I mentioned, I’ve realised that this is the way that I’d rather spend my money. Making memories, instead of buying things.
It helps, of course, that all of these things involve my favourite people. And I also think that in between these exciting events, there are the times when I am just sitting on a sofa, watching telly with those people, or having dinner. The downtime is just as important as the big plans, and I treasure those times too.
I’m not going to pretend that I don’t like new clothes – as long as Primark make t-shirts that flatter my figure and have cool designs, I’ll buy them. But when I’m eighty, and I’m looking back on my life, it’s the experiences that will count, not the fact that I had a Hogwarts t-shirt once (though I do have an unhealthy amount of love for that thing).
* Running may be putting it a little optimistically. Taking part is probably slightly more accurate.