During the pandemic, being home more has given many of us time to appreciate what our homes are and what they mean to us. This has meant more time to cook, read, repair, futz, play music, repaint, and spend time with our wonderful kids and partners. In many cases, by necessity, we’re sharing our homes with loved ones and roommates. A friend wrote that her home is everything to her, and creating and evolving it is one of the most important aspects of her life.
There are millions of people without homes, and we can all do more to help them through organizations like Habitat for Humanity and others. In the meantime, let’s not take our homes for granted and include them more consciously in our life plans.
Do you remember slides?
When I was a kid, we used to go to people’s homes to see slides from their trip to Disneyland, the Grand Canyon or ______________ (fill in the blank). Not PowerPoint or Google Slides—these were photos taken on slide film and projected onto a screen at home.
One beautiful thing about slides: The photos were LARGER THAN LIFE, showing incredible detail. We miss out on that detail looking at images on our phones and computers. If this were 1969, we’d be having a slideshow on a huge screen, and sitting on the floor in our living room eating fondu!
We had my mom here for a weekend this summer, and I projected our old family photos onto a huge 90-inch TV. The detail was incredible, and helped illuminate little things about life in the 1960s and ’70s: the contents of our living room. The brand of our first color TV. The book titles on my parents’ shelves. There were also photos from the 1800s and early 1900s of relatives whose names I didn’t know.
We went through hundreds of pictures and mom provided the names of the people in each photo, which are now embedded on the JPEGs on my computer for future generations. Had we not gone through them together now, we would have lost those names forever. I highly recommend this exercise—and do it now, before your beloveds depart our earthly existence! I also interviewed my mom and audio-recorded her experience with the women’s liberation movement.
Also, if you haven’t digitized your family’s slides and photos, please do! It’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made; I used scanmyphotos.com for physical photos and scancafe.com for slides.
Lee Weinstein is a former Nike public relations leader who is now an entrepreneur. He has worked for a United States congressman and two Oregon governors and served on numerous nonprofit boards of directors. He and his wife, Melinda, developed the Intentional Life Planning process in 2000. His article “The Restless Soul in the Bathroom Mirror” was published in The New York Times.
Create your Intentional Life Plan now! Check out Lee’s “Write, Open, Act” workbook, also featured in The New York Times, for step-by-step details on how to create the life you want.