When your life goes into hibernation, and the noise and pressures of the world are reduced to a whisper, the unexpected happens. Your hearing and vision can become clear and crisp. So grateful for the pause that has amplified who and what is important, and in this moment, the unexpected happened; this pandemic has intensified hearing this message and seeing its relevance and impact on my day to day living. Who and what is important?
In the words of Steven Bartlett, “Sometimes you have to remove things from your life to know if they’re important-this might be the most valuable lesson this pandemic taught us. It turns out most things aren’t as important as we thought, and some things are more important than we ever imagined”.
For myself, the clarity on what needed removal and what required a renewed focus intensified. This era provided a removal from the distractions of the world and an investment in the lifestyle habits and relationships that sustain my soul, both spiritually and temporally. I would never have slowed down sufficiently for this process to begin or for the changes I have personally encountered to be sustained.
In the past 5 weeks, we each finished our schooling semester, completed a renovation, put our home on the market, moved interstate with a new position and employment for my husband, in a destabilizing and uncertain time. And yet, we drove 2, 074.8km [1289.2mi] across the country, in two vehicles, with a dog each full of hope. Crossing three states, with 2 additional isolation periods in each state and one 14-day quarantine at our destination, in South Australia was a breathtakingly life changing. Thankfully, we were prepared at a moment’s notice to be able to expedite a move interstate before and during the state border closures. As chaotic as this may sound, and there certainly was a lot to prepare in a 4-day timeframe, this really was the starting of my hibernation chapter.
In the chaos that halted the world and brought us to our knees, disrupting a normality that now looks and feels very different, I hope I never forget the life perspective this era has brought me, the opportunity for review, experiencing deeply the power of compassion and connection and how vitally important it is to manage our resources well, investing in what matters. The unexpected lessons from this hibernation [total lockdown] have come at unimaginable cost, and they are also priceless.
There are infinite ways to curate and share your living memories. I have never written nor documented more than in this moment. I suspect this is similar for many. It has been productive, retrospective, and invigorating to narrate my living memories. I have had time to remove, rethink, renew and reimagine. I am sure you have too. With this opportunity I have been proactive and productive.
On May 29th, I introduce a new category of product to my company and the market called PhD. Short for “Personal History Document”. I have envisioned this since childhood, creating products for people to record stories and connect generations. Whilst I love creating yearbooks and narrating the everyday ordinary and extraordinary, my vision has always included documenting the detailed threads of life experienced from infancy to the sunset era.
I am starting the PhD. Series at Pregnancy. This barren woman, [call me Baroness Von Wilson-wink] couldn’t have started at a more fitting place, a reminder that disappointments and unfulfilled expectations can be disguised as opportunities and blessings when we hear our purpose calling and see our horizon clearly. Also, pregnancy is the birthplace of greatness, no pun intended. It is the perfect place to start “the story of you”. It is my view, that how life is reverenced and remembered reflects who we are and what we value most.
I have created many books of remembrance that document my lifespan on this globe. I have since inherited an additional collection of Remembrance Books that my maternal grandmother Mim, spent her life curating. They are indeed counted as my most precious possessions as they connect my past to my present. Mims albums, books and journals reinforce to me the importance of family, faith, and fragility. My ancestors words and photos allow me to see things I have not seen; hear things I need to learn from and feel deeply those things that bind and enrich lives. Many valuable lessons learnt, insights on how to lift, strengthen, and grow in times of profound oppression and exquisite prosperity; how to forgive, love and live with honour and so many more of life’s refining experiences have been gleaned from the living memories left by my ancestors. Oh, how grateful I am to know of their loves, sacrifices, hopes and the many other attributes that their stories uncover about their nature. Their [stories] legacy have increased my hope, faith, and love and my ability to persevere, endure, overcome, and hopefully leave this earth better than when I arrived!
So now, I create products that help us narrate our stories. To help myself and others be remembered, but also to be remembered for something, and to someone. Stories matter for the imprint they leave in the hearts of their audience. They matter for the changes they initiate, the hope they instil and the joy they provide to the human soul but most importantly for the inspiration which powers a generation to greatness. Documenting our living memories matter because they connect, correct, and coach.
And do not we all long to live well the stories we want to tell.