As I was attempting to clean out one of my closets this weekend, I came across a file box that, based on the dust on top, had not been touched in a number of years. Thankfully, I already had the vacuum cleaner handy and once inside I found quite a menagerie of documents that took me down memory lane. Tax statements and other documents from 3 of our previous houses, including our very first house (that was a nice, small mortgage payment), copies of medical records, one of my son's report cards, a pediatrician bill for NB girl when my daughter was an infant, as well as other things.
But one of the most touching finds was a poem written to me by my son on Mother's Day. No date on it, but guessing he was probably 9 or 10. What a sweet sentiment to find years later.
Then I realized, if I didn't have a paper copy of this, and if I only had this in a digital format, the chances of me finding this, let alone being able to open the document given the changes in technology, would have been next to impossible. That is the risk that we run in today's ever changing digital world. Yes, there is value in storing documents digitally, but there is no substitute for being able to hold precious memories in your hands. Please don't keep all the pictures you take on your phones just on your phone or on your computer. And, please don't pay a photographer to take your picture and then just ask for the digital files. You've paid for professional services, so make sure you get the full benefit of those professional services by allowing them to ensure you have color-corrected and professionally processed images printed on archival paper that will be there for you to look at and enjoy for years to come! And don't forget to keep a file of keepsakes!