I watched Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again twice this week. The first time was because I needed a pick-me-up after a rough day and Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again is possibly the greatest, most joyful, fun, happy movie ever made. The second time I watched it was to show a friend the greatest, most joyful, fun, happy movie ever made for the first time.
Can you tell that I just really love the Mamma Mia movies? Some may call it a guilty pleasure, I just call it good taste.
But here’s the thing. There’s a story behind why Mamma Mia 2 is so special to me. It came out the summer of 2018 when I was on a theatre contract doing Into the Woods and a musical revue in a very small town in Indiana. I’ve been reminiscing on this summer a lot over the past few weeks. It was a super special time. Due to the fact we were living in a town that was basically one road, we, as a cast, didn’t have much to do after rehearsal but hang out with each other. We all got super close, in fact, two of the people I now call best friends are people I bonded with that summer.
So the week Mamma Mia 2 came out, I was understandably excited and we all made a plan to drive 30 minutes to the closest movie theatre (did I mention it was a very small town) to see the midnight showing. And little did we know how much we would need it.
It had been a grueling week of rehearsals. It was the middle of summer, we were performing outside. Long days, script changes, added stress. So by the time Thursday night rolled around for the movie, we were all grumpy and just ready to relax.
And for the 2 hours of that film, we did just that. We had the movie theatre to ourselves and we were singing along and dancing in the aisles. We laughed, we cried. To this day, that is one of my favorite memories.
And every time I watch that movie I think back to that time and those people and how special it all is to me.
I just love reminiscing, don’t you?
Memories are powerful. They have the ability to transport us back to simpler times, or happy moments, or achievements we’re truly proud of.
I think memories are one of the best pathways to gratitude. You get to look back on fun times and great experiences and feel so grateful for the people who crossed your path and the piece of themselves they left with you forever. There’s a lot of love there and a lot of smiles.
But of course, not all memories are positive, there may be some unhappy moments from your past. Severed relationships, disappointments, low points, loss. But in a way, those also lead me to gratitude. I mean, right after my last breakup, it was hard to see pictures of my ex and me happy and in love years earlier. But it takes time for memories to heal, and now, I can look at those pictures and feel at peace. He was a part of my journey, there are happy memories there, and what a beautiful thing to know I’m capable of that much love. I can’t wait to find it again, and I’m grateful for what I learned during that relationship.
My memories, the good and the bad, make me grateful for all the people I’ve been. The risks I’ve taken and the choices I’ve made. They’ve all led me to now. To who I am now in this current season of life.
Our memories shape who we are. There’s immense power there. They can teach us what didn’t work. They can teach us who has really been there through thick and thin. They can show us we’re brave and have always had the capability to come back from anything. Because we’ve made it this far, and we still have so far to go.
But also… looking back on happy memories is just tremendous fun.
I think about my mom and one of her favorite hobbies, scrapbooking. Seriously, if there were professional competitions for scrapbooking, she would wipe the floor with the other competitors. Her skills are unparalleled.
These books are truly such a labor of love. My mom makes scrapbooks to celebrate our lives. To celebrate birthdays and achievements and trips and special moments. And isn’t that what reminiscing is? Celebrating our memories and the beautiful lives we’ve been given.
There was so much laughter and love when I watched Mamma Mia 2 with my cast mates that Thursday night in 2018. There was so much laughter and love that whole summer. And every time I watch that movie, I’m transported back to that memory, and I feel warm and fuzzy inside.
So today I’m encouraging you to reminisce. Think back on a time that you’re truly grateful for. Go look back at old Facebook photos, or call your family to laugh about an old trip, or reach out to a friend from a past season of your life. Find a memory that can encourage you and remind you of joyful times.
Moments and memories, they were meant to be shared. With the people important to you, for yourself, or heck, I’d be honored if you would share it with me!
I’ll leave you with this incredibly cheesy, yet wonderful Dr. Seuss quote: “Sometimes, you never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory”
There is magic in memories. So go out and enjoy it for a spell.