How to Stretch Summer and Savor the Memories

What did you do this summer? With school back in session, we hear that question often. Do you remember where the summer went?

For many of us, the summer seems to have passed in a blur. I can pull up the big things like vacations and the new puppy. But summer is about much more than the one or two weeks of a family vacation. For me, it’s about time spent with friends and family at a more relaxed pace, savoring the longer days and warm weather.

Reading Off the Clock by Laura Vanderkam helped me understand how reminiscing can actually stretch time. Lingering over fond memories just a bit helps us to feel that we have more time and brings us joy.

Although we are moving into fall, there are technically still a few weeks of summer left. Here are 3 ways we can make summer stretch a little longer before the days actually get cooler.

1 – Capture a Mental Picture Memory

Inspired by Off the Clock, I intentionally looked for a few moments that I wanted to cement in my memory. It was a fascinating experiment and left me with several fond memories of summer. The beautiful part of a mental memory is that it is always with you and doesn’t need a photograph as a reminder. I’ll share my two favorites.

In early June, as I sat reading on the back porch one afternoon, I looked up to see my son walking from the woods followed closely by his new puppy, her ears flopping as she ran to keep up with him. He enjoys spending time in the woods, and it warmed my heart to see him exploring with his new buddy.

The second is a picture of my daughter the day my husband and I dropped her off at camp. She wore her bathing suit and shorts and carried a new t-shirt she had just bought at the camp store. As she walked away from us to head back to her cabin, she flashed a beautiful smile over her shoulder, happy and confident.

I would not have these vivid images in my mind now had I not intentionally selected them as memories to hold dear. Then I had to reflect on them often and remind myself to think of them to move them into long-term memory.

What memories will you savor from summer? Pick a couple and think about them. Close your eyes and picture the sights, sounds, and smells of the moment. Describe them to someone else or write about them. Relive it in your mind often over the next few days, and it will become a permanent memory to enjoy.

2 – Enjoy a Slideshow of Your Summer Photos

This one requires just a little time and intention, and perhaps some patience, as you listen to your kids groan when you suggest that they gather around and check out some pictures from the summer. Thanks to our devices in hand and features on our computer, we can simply go back to May and flip through the pictures. Taking a few minutes to scroll through our summer memories helped me remember and savor the time we spent together.

Perhaps this exercise will remind you of a memory that you want to cement in your mind as well.

3 – Compile a Short Digital Memory of Your Summer Using the 1 Second Everyday App

Imagine if you could quickly and easily create a 90 second video of 1-second clips from every day in your summer. What if you could look at a calendar and quickly see which days you took pictures or video, then easily add a short clip of it to a “mash” of summer memories? You can do just that with the 1 Second Everyday app.

The app accesses your videos and photos from your device (there are iOS and Google Play versions) and helps you select a 1 second video clip, ideally from each day. Then it quickly “mashes” it together into one video and/or slideshow.

Starting now, if you took a 1 second video each day, or even just a couple per week, at the end of the school year, you’d have a sweet memorial to this year of your kids’ lives. No stickers or paper cutters required!

If you decide to try it, here are a couple of hints.

• Don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good. Who’s counting whether or not I miss some days? If I get a few video clips from the summer and turn it into a 30 second video for my family to relive our summer memories, that is a huge win in my book!
• It’s much faster to add your snippet or photo on the day you take it. Once the photo or video is backed up to the cloud, it will take some time to retrieve it.

I hope this helps you to stretch your summer by capturing a vivid mental memory, reminiscing with family over your pictures, or creating a mini video to memorialize your summer. Leave a comment and let me know if you try any of these ideas!


Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash