No, HERE's my shopping list: amazing thing, amazing thing, amazing thing, amazing thing.
January 6, 2009 6:23 PM   Subscribe

What sort of things do you do to make individual days worth remembering? I think it'd be awesome if every day had at least one thing take place which was somehow memorable. Not huge things like flying to China or climbing the space needle but even just "hey I remember that day, it is when I climbed a tree."
posted by seiryuu to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
posted by meerkatty at 6:35 PM on January 6, 2009

I write little outlines of my day in my day planner.
posted by OLechat at 6:39 PM on January 6, 2009

Best answer: Look at things outside - plants especially. They chance quickly and, given the weather and the cycle of bloom and grow and all that, no two days are exactly alike.

Cook things. This is one of the reasons I love cooking, especially trying new recipes and techniques - it's a really easy way to go where you've never gone before while not leaving your own kitchen.

Keep a small sketchbook - a small moleskine or similar. Draw a little tiny drawing every day - can be quick like a pen line drawing or a colored-pencil masterpiece. Just pick something new each day and date your drawing. They don't have to be good drawings.

Speak to people - strangers, clerks in stores. This is one of the biggest random functions of every day, the people you pass in your daily rounds. If you can break through the normal transactional language to a genuine conversation, however small, it is likely to be unique.

Be spontaneous. If you've always walked by X street and wondered what was down the street, one day just go down that street. Ditto going into stores or attending free events. If you have the time you have nothing to lose by putting yourself in a new physical environment.

Activate your thoughts. There's no way like having new thoughts to make your whole life feel new and memorable. Good places to provide yourself with think-material are churches (just dropping into a service and listening, not joining), readings, lectures, art or history museums.
posted by Miko at 6:45 PM on January 6, 2009 [15 favorites]

you can't make them, they just happen
posted by patnok at 7:39 PM on January 6, 2009

Response by poster: patnok: I highly disagree. In the example I gave, a day in which I climb a tree is going to be a fun, unique thing that will shake up a day's typical monotony. That tree isn't going to one day decide to climb me. Indeed, we shape our own lives.
posted by seiryuu at 7:56 PM on January 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The most important thing about having many memorable days is to actually be conscious for part of it. You can't just show up at the end of the day and say OK, I guess that's the memorable moment. You can have memorable days without planning for them, but you run the risk of getting to the end of the day and not having been present for any of it. I totally think you can make memorable days, and in fact that you should plan them ahead of time!

Miko's got a good start. More Ideas:

Keep a list of the 'memorable moment' of the day. Or take a picture every day. You will spend the whole day looking for the unique moment to capture, even if it's just a ray of light hitting the grass.

Create something. Take a photo, draw a sketch, try a new recipe, write a poem, see what happens when you sprinkle salt on the swatches you painted with your kid's watercolor set.

Drive a different way to work. Get off the freeway two exits earlier. Or ride your bike there. Or take public transportation. Or walk. Or hitchhike.

Go see who lives on the other side of the big wall in your back yard. Or who lives directly above your apartment. If you are really brave, introduce yourself.

Stop at that little Chinese bakery on the way to work and try a few. Stop in the foreign food section of the grocery and try something you can't read the package of. Better yet, browse that Indian grocery where you can't read anything. Buy something and cook with it. Eat lunch at every place within range of work.

Make a ginormous list of all the things you can do when you have a little time (or money) to spend--go to the gun range and shoot paper targets for a couple hours. Go to the racetrack and watch the horses for a couple hours. Try out the rock climbing gym.

No money?
Attend a free concert or many. Attend free or cheap plays. Stop by the neighborhood 'historical monument', or the tiny ethnic museum, or that little local photographer's show. Try out all the parks in your neighborhood. Try all the restaurants in your neighborhood. Go to free film screenings, especially the ones by the students of a film school. See what happens when you push the elevator stop button. Stop by the fire station and ask for a tour. Go on a fall leaf hunt and wax them. Drive to somewhere you can see the stars. Take a blanket. Attend free lectures.

Also: as far as I can tell, memorable moments pretty much NEVER involve the TV or the computer.
posted by lemonade at 10:06 PM on January 6, 2009 [10 favorites]

If you have enough interactions with other people, something memorable is bound to happen.
posted by god particle at 10:25 PM on January 6, 2009

Keeping a short journal will help. Every day write just a few sentences about what you did.

i.e. Wed. Jan 7 - Slept late. Skipped breakfast. unusually warm day. Talked to Doug about possibility of taking over the Smith Portfolio. Ate lunch with Judy. Saw car accident near main and 5th on the way home. Mom called to chat.

Note original thoughts you might have had that day, major news events, things you notice changing. Even if you don't DO anything memorable on the odd day, you can remember what the weather was like, weird things you saw on your way to work, etc. This will help with the "consciousness" lemonade mentioned. Reading about that day will help you remember details about it years later, when it would have otherwise been a mundane, forgettable day.

But yeah, doing cool stuff is probably more important...
posted by Brodiggitty at 6:52 AM on January 7, 2009

Lemonade, I got a good, small camera lately, and I was struck to realize that one only a couple days since I got the thing have I failed to take a picture. I used to see things that I thought would make a good picture, but the moment passed -- and now I can pause a second and capture it as an image *and* in my mind.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:31 PM on January 7, 2009

At the risk of sounding terribly corny, here's my list:

Smile and wish everyone a good day (or the equivalent you feel comfortable with) - the barista, the guy who bags your groceries, whatever.

Call up a friend and take them out to lunch. Bonus: try a new restaurant or a new menu item.

Compliment someone - friend or stranger. I've taken a chance on this a few times, and have gotten various responses - from shock to blank looks to a returned compliment. No matter what, this gives me a little frisson of happiness that lasts throughout my day.

Make or give something to that special friend or someone. As small or as large as you want to make it. A leaf you picked up, share a stanza from a poem that makes you think of them.

And looking at lemonade and Miko's wonderful suggestions, I am reminded that just looking at the world with awareness can make even the most mundane things seem special.
posted by lucyleaf at 2:09 PM on January 7, 2009

This wouldn't work on a day-to-day basis, but there is a similar idea behind it:

I know that scent is a serious conjurer of memories, so I will set out to purposefully link events and smell. On my honeymoon, I bought a solid perfume and wore it often. Now when I want to remind myself of the feelings I had at the time, I take that perfume out and have a whiff.
posted by thebrokedown at 7:30 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

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