Why I Flew 7182 Miles To Cook A Burger And Make Intentional Memories
If I asked you to recall a moment when you uncontrollably laughed with friends that you will treasure forever, what reminiscence would come to mind? If I asked you to recall a moment when you experienced the immensity of nature and at the same time sensed the frailness of being human, what memory would come to mind? If I asked you to recall a moment when you celebrated the public achievement of an ambition you had nurtured privately, what recollection would come to mind?
How much of your life do you remember? How many intentional memories do you create?
Kim Peek, the inspiration for Raymond in the movie Rainman, was a master of memory; he could recall the text of over 12,000 books with 98% accuracy. Wang Feng can memorise a shuffled pack of 52 playing cards in 24.21 seconds. But it is the memory of Jill Price that interests me most; she has the uncanny ability to remember 99.9% of everything that has ever happened to her. How much of your life do you remember? The unfortunate thing about life is we don’t remember half of it. We don’t remember half of half of it. We may not remember even a tiny percentage of the days, weeks and months of our life. But what we do tend to remember, however, are scenes that happen within our lives. Memorable scenes, times when something crazy happened. Times when we risked, loved, laughed and lost. Times, when we took the extra effort to make a scene something memorable.
How many days do we get to make them memorable? I reckon that I have give or take a few 9,312 left. That doesn’t seem many and I want to make as many of them memorable as I can.
If we want to have beautiful memories, we need to plan to do special things. We have to intentionally create memorable scenes, if we want a life where we have scenes that are memorable.
The empty nest is a complex period. While the freedom, peace and tidiness are all well and good, sometimes you long for the noise, untidiness, and never-ending taxi service. Sam, my son, had been studying for 2 years at University when he was given the opportunity to spend a year getting work experience on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. Laura, my daughter, having graduated from University, decided to embark on a 12 month journey of adventure and would plan her travels to be in Australia to share her brother’s birthday some many months later. Knowing that two air tickets to see them were not an option for my wife and I, Santa was particularly generous last year for zipped into a small brown Radley shoulder bag, specially wrapped for Christmas, was one return ticket from Birmingham to Brisbane. While I opened my gift of socks and a hankie on Christmas morning, shock, surprise, tears and tantrums followed as my wife protested to travel that far without me was not on.
The months shortened into weeks and then days. Business called me to America at the time my wife was going to be in Australia, I was in Los Angeles, 7182 miles apart. Then I had this stupid, crazy idea come into my head. I had numerous frequent flyer miles, but had I enough to secretly get me half way around the world? Well, with just a few dollars, yes. So, 21 flying and 6 driving hours later, totally unknown to my wife, daughter and son, there I was sitting on a deserted beach on the Sunshine Coast barbequing burgers. An elaborate plan had been concocted with a good friend (thanks Nathan) to bring all three to spend a few hours on a deserted beach for a barbeque, and there-to-there shock and surprise was dad, “flipping burgers.” It was a forever moment. An intentional memory. Our family will always remember the day they travelled to deserted beach and there was dad flipping a burger…
Life is so great but we only get such a short time to experience and enjoy all those tiny little moments that make it so sweet. What about you? How could you in the next seven days create an intentional memory? What could you do to make a moment memorable? As long as we still have one day, we can create an intentional memory for those we love, but will we?
Sources and notes: This blog was adapted from a speech delivered November 20th at Heart of England Toastmasters for CC3 - Image via Stock.xchng