Posted by: brandextenders | January 8, 2015

What’s in Your Time Capsule?

I’m an ardent fan of history and was fascinated with the discovery of a time capsule in Boston that had been buried by Paul Revere and Samuel Adams. No, there was no beer inside (that Samuel Adams never brewed beer), but there were coins dating back to 1652 along with a treasure trove of documents, newspapers and other

Paul Revere & Samuel Adams buried this in 1795

Paul Revere & Samuel Adams buried this in 1795

memorabilia from the early days of our country. Fascinating stuff in a 5 ½” x 7 ½” metal box buried in 1795 and found in the cornerstone of the Massachusetts State house during repair work. Historians will document the contents, add a few contemporary items and rebury the box in the same cornerstone for future generations to discover. Kind of like a really long game of hide and seek.

What if you were asked to create a time capsule of your life that would be buried and reopened in 100 years? What would you include? Some family pictures perhaps? Mementoes that are touchstones in your life? A pocketknife your father or grandfather gave you, your mother’s hair ties, some treasures you saved from your children’s early years? Newspapers, coins, a favorite book or a journal you’ve kept? Remember, the only way people 100 years from now will know who you are is by what you place inside your time capsule.

What if you were asked to create a time capsule of your life that would be buried and reopened in 100 years? What would you include? Some family pictures perhaps? Mementoes that are touchstones in your life? A pocketknife your father or grandfather gave you, your mother’s hair ties, some treasures you saved from your children’s early years? Newspapers, coins, a favorite book or a journal you’ve kept? Remember, the only way people 100 years from now will know who you are is by what you place inside your time capsule.

I started a time capsule of sorts 22 years ago, in the month my oldest son was born, when I began writing a monthly letter of what was happening in our family, in my life and in the world. Some letters are brief while some are 10 pages long or more with dissertations on politics, religion, dissident family members and other topics-of-the-day. I have close to 240 letters (I know, the math doesn’t work out because I skipped some months) and I’ve decided to write my last letter when my youngest son turns 21 in a couple of years. Then I will create two books with the letters, some pictures, drawings and other treasures they created as kids and give one to each of my boys. They’ve never seen them so it will be a total surprise and a time capsule of their childhood. I hope they will pass these along to their children and beyond so family members 100 years and more from now can look back and say either, “boy those people were cool” or “boy, those people were odd.”

A time capsule kit

A time capsule kit

Your personal time capsule need not be complex and can be as simple as a shoebox with those things you’ve treasured and cherished over the years that you keep on a shelf in your closet. Be sure to include a letter explaining what’s inside and why these items are important to you. You can even buy a cool looking metal canister or a whole kit that gives you a step-by-step process for creating your time capsule. And no, time capsules don’t actually have to be buried, but can be sealed and set aside with a plan to pass on to future generations and a specific date to be opened.

What you choose to put in your literal or figurative time capsule says a lot about you and the legacy you hope to create for you and your family. Who knows where this country or the world will be in 100 years. Wouldn’t it be cool if someone opens your family time capsule from today in his or her new apartment on Mars?

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