Twice a month, on the first and fifteenth, I receive a Photojojo time capsule featuring pictures I posted to Flickr the previous year. It’s easy enough for me to check my blog or photo archives to see what I was doing this time last year, but it’s fun to have someone else check my archives for me, sending me random photos from a year ago.
This time last year, J and I went to the Museum of Fine Arts to see a visiting Cezanne masterpiece and an exhibit of samurai armor, so my May 1st time capsule featured several pieces from the latter. At the bottom of each time capsule, there’s a text box where you can “Talk to the future” by leaving yourself a message that will be delivered the same time next year. I don’t always leave myself a message: some months, I barely have time to look at my time capsule, much less talk back to it. But this time last year, I took a moment to type myself a message, reminding my future self that “Whatever you’re worried about today probably won’t matter a year from now.”
I don’t remember what I was worried about this time last year: then as now, I was probably buried in end-term grading and wishing nothing more than to get through my paper-piles. But the fact I can’t remember what I was worried about a year ago proves my message is indeed true. Whatever was a Big Deal this time last year has since resolved itself. I finished those papers, I’ll finish these current ones, and whatever I’m fretting about now will have passed, improved, or become tolerable in a year’s time. There’s no better way to remember the past than through pictures, and there’s no better way to deal with your worries than to seal them in a time capsule, saving them for a time when they’ll already have been placidly forgotten.