Last Sunday a friend threw me a surprise party in the form of book brunch. My brother and sister and their wonderful partners, my college roommates, my husband, and the amazing women I work with who are also great friends were all there, and it was definitely one of my most memorable, special birthdays ever. We talked and laughed and I even almost cried several times. It was so special, and I wish it could have lasted all day. It’s a unique type of joy when people from all different areas of your life come together. Even for this introvert, it’s magical.
We didn’t get a photo.
I know there are stereotypes of young people who never pull their heads out of their screens for long enough to enjoy the moment. I’ve complained of these people myself. And although I love Instagram, I feel sad when I hear someone say you have to post about an experience or it didn’t really happen. I don’t think that true. But I do think a photo can capture a memory, and looking back at the photo can give a huge happiness boost.
I regret not taking a photo at brunch. I really wish I had.
I don’t know why I didn’t. The thought definitely crossed my mind, and I think I thought I would remember later. This happens to me a lot with photos. I think “I really would love to have a photo of everyone, but I don’t want to interrupt and be annoying. I’ll wait until a better moment when I won’t be so distracting.” That moment either never comes, or I totally forget.
I encourage you to take the photo when you think of it. The worst that can happen is you have a photo of a happy memory that you never look at. But you won’t be worse off for taking it.
Maybe you’re not the person. Who forgets to take the photo, but the person who grumbles at the party guest or family member who insists on a group photo at every gathering. I have been the grumbler too, believe me.
But although sometimes posing for a dorky group shot for what seems like forever might make me grumble in the moment, I’m always happy to have the photo months later. The moment of “ugh, I really don’t want to take a picture” isn’t memorable. The photo of everyone together for a special occasion is.
So this year, take the photo. Collect them in an album or print them into a memory book. And on a bad day when you’re feeling irritated or just kind of down, look at the photos. I bet they bring a smile and a little joy.