Capturing Moments In A Bottle


Recently I was watching TV and a commercial came on for a movie entitled Collateral Beauty. One of the voices in the preview said, “What if all we have is now?” That statement really caught my attention. Having lost my father too early in life, I am painfully aware of how quickly and unexpectedly a loved one can be here one day and gone the next. That awareness makes those types of statements really speak to me and mean something.

A few days ago my family and I were lounging around and relaxing and that statement hit me again, “What if all we have is now?” I told my husband, “I wish I could capture this moment and put it in a bottle.” He agreed! That got me to wondering if there was a way that I could capture an exact moment at the exact time, detailing my exact feelings and thoughts? So often, I wish I had moments in a bottle from my childhood, visuals depicting the details of random moments throughout my life and the life of my family members. Now that my father is no longer with us, it would be such an amazing gift to have expressions of what he was thinking, feeling, hoping for, scared of etc. throughout life. After thinking about it for a while and wondering how I could capture moments for my family, it hit me! There is a way that I can literally capture moments and keep them in a bottle: By doing just that!

So here is my plan:

1- Collect a few plastic bottles: I am going to collect a few large bottles, preferably plastic clear ones so that I can decorate them. I haven’t decided exactly how to distinguish the bottles but I have a few ideas. I could categorize each bottle. For example I could designate: a family bottle, a bottle for each child, a marriage bottle etc. Or I could just have a bottle designated for each year and just capture special random moments for the specific year in a bottle (I’m leaning toward this one because it’s more manageable.) 🙂

2-Be present and pay attention: I think the 1st step in capturing special moments is actually being in the moment. Paying attention to what’s happening when I am with my loved ones is the most important part. Facial expressions, words being said, body gestures, my feelings, my thoughts, the thoughts and feelings of others are all things I will make note of.

3-Capture a quick picture: When I look up and have that feeling of wanting to capture the moment in a bottle and save it forever, I am going to take a quick picture and save it.

4-Print the picture: I have gotten so used to my pictures being digital or on the “cloud” that I rarely print out pictures anymore. This past summer I realized how easy it is to send a picture to Walgreens right from my phone and have it printed. I’m usually able to get a coupon of some sort and I pay as little as 2-5cents a picture.

5-Write a message of the details: This is the most important part of the process! Once I have printed the picture, my goal is to write down the exact details of the moment. Everything I can think of! Occasionally, I’d also like to get the thoughts, words and feelings from anyone else that was in the moment detailed in writing as well. Everything I mentioned in step two will go on the back of the picture with as much detail as the space will hold.

6-Roll the picture and put it in the bottle: Once the moment is captured visually and with words then the last thing to do is save it in a bottle. I will continue to add pictures until it is full and then I’ll move on to the next bottle. FYI: one could also capture moments in another vessel like a box, a safe or some other container. I am going to try a bottle first and see how that goes. I’ll keep you posted!

I can just imagine having bottles of captured moments over the next 20 years (Lord willing) lined up waiting to be explored by the next generation! Just writing about this is getting me so excited! How awesome would it be to be able to leave that for my children and grandchildren to cherish and build upon for their children and grandchildren?

I feel like so much is lost in families over the years. Small details disappear from generation to generation. I hope to be able to be the one to capture the lessons and the details in random everyday moments for generations to come! 🙂

Application: Start this journey with me! If you are interested in capturing moments in a bottle for your family, follow the above steps! If the steps are too detailed, change them up or simplify them to fit your lifestyle. Share your steps as you begin to capture your moments. I’ll be sure to share mine with you! 🙂

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