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Virtual vs. tangible memories

Like a good number of Americans I’ve taken to using social media for a number of reasons.  One site that has gained a strong following lately is called Pinterest.  Pinterest is a photograph driven virtual bulletin board where posters/people can view pictures on a variety of subjects some deep and meaningful, others whimsical and lighthearted.  There are all sorts of categories to browse such as art, design, pets, nature, products, and of course, fashion.  It reminds of a really good women’s magazine with some fun ideas and some unachievable craft or home projects that’s neat to look at but probably rare to be carried out to completion in real life.

My attraction to Pinterest began when I browsed through categories that I find interesting like organizing, home décor and do it yourself projects.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that while I was looking at pictures of people’s actual homes, a good portion of these pictures might seem like just a daydream to many of us.  Take the perfectly organized craft room or the large entryway with lots of storage for coats, boots, hats, and umbrellas.  It’s great that some people have options like this in their homes but more often than not we’re crowded into spaces jammed with overflowing amounts of stuff and barely enough closets let alone a room to devote to hobbies. I wonder if some of these pictures are inspirational or in your face.  That might depend on if you look at the glass as half full or half empty.

I began to ask myself what I was getting out of this virtual experience, hints and ideas or was I just lustfully leering at my dream kitchen? It struck me when I saw a picture of a Fisher Price toy circa early 70’s that I remember playing with. You see, I was the 9th child born and for whatever reason my parents didn’t create a memory box or save any of my schoolwork. As an adult I’ve experienced sadness and loss that not a single toy, favorite blanket or set of baby shoes exists from my childhood. I’ve even had reoccurring dreams about finding my toys!! Isn’t it fascinating that we attach memories and feelings to inanimate objects and often times at an early age?

I realized long ago that I can’t have my toys back but I can use pictures of some of my playthings to reawaken old memories, to visit the past while very much living in the present. I’ve often advised clients to take pictures of items they have trouble letting go of and this works really well for children with 3D artwork/crafts that take up tons of room.   So I’m going to use photography and sites like Pinterest to inspire, to play, to learn, to reminisce and I’m not going to feel guilty for wasting a little time surfing through pictures of my dream kitchen. We can all dream can’t we?