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Manage Your Mess Monday: Stretching Your Memories

My town has recently banned plastic bags. I'm thrilled with the development as I've been taking my grocery bags with me to the store for a long time. It seems like these days, it's hard to NOT have a huge stash of reusable bags--stores hand them out with purchases, you get them as swag bags, everywhere you go there are bags for the taking! Recently, I was shopping with a friend and we both brought our grocery bags. I was shocked when I saw her pull out her ratty plastic bags and her old paper bags. I couldn't believe she was letting an opportunity for happiness just pass her on by. Let me explain....

I like to think of reusable grocery bags as yet another way to stretch my fun memories. Just as photo books help me enjoy adventures of the past, I try to bring happiness into as many areas of my life as possible. Every time I check out at the supermarket, I pull out my bags and I have a moment of joy. In the above picture on the left is one of my favorite bags. Last summer, I went on a quick trip to Iceland with a dear friend. We went on an amazing hike into a glacier. Yup, there we are, inside a glacier.

Inside the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier.

After we finished our trek, we came back to our car and went into a building that had a bathroom and a grocery store. Since we were going to hit the road, we picked up some snacks and I opted to get a reusable bag from the Icelandic grocery store to bring home with me. I had almost zero space in my suitcase for souvenirs but this was an easy and practical thing to bring with me. Now, every time I get my groceries here at home, I pull out my bag and I spend a moment traveling back to Iceland with my friend. It's just another way to stretch my memories of a once in a lifetime trip.

All my grocery bags have stories like that. Maybe not involving glacier hikes, but they all have good vibes and make me smile. I have some from a vacation in Vermont, I have others from a trip we took to Colorado. I don't get them every time I leave town but I pass up the other free bags and choose to use ones that I know will bring me the most joy. So what are you waiting for? Find new ways to stretch your memories in YOUR every day moments. If you have to go to the grocery store, you might as well find a way to bring as much happiness to the experience as you can!

What other ways can you stretch your memories?

A little jolt of happy with my groceries!

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