2020 Time Capsules!

2020. Does reading that make you cringe a little? 2020 has been a year to remember-a year that will go down in history. 2020 brought lots of unknowns, disappointments, and fears to many all around the world. It is so easy to think of the year 2020 as “the year of the pandemic”, but what was the silver lining that kept you going this year? Sometimes, it is good to take time to reflect on the positives that may have occurred throughout a year that was full of so many negatives.

Making a time capsule, also known as a memory box, is a creative way to not only store items and memories from the past year to look back on the following year, or even many years later, but also to take the time to really reflect on not only the “roadblocks” of the year that is ending, but the positives as well. It is okay to celebrate the things that helped you see “the light at the end of the tunnel” of such a scary year. This activity can truly be done by any and all ages.

The first thing you’ll need is some sort of container to store your items. This can be anything, a Tupperware bowl, a shoebox, or even a paper bag. For more “heavy duty” options, you could use a tin can that has a removeable lid, or a small metal lockbox. As long as you are using something that has a lid, or is able to be easily sealed, it will work just fine!

Next, if you want to, decorate the outside of your time capsule! Decorate however you please, but it is fun to include things that are specific to 2020- for example, I decorated the outside of my shoebox time capsule with toilet paper!

Now it is time to start thinking about what you want to put inside your time capsule! Remember, these should be items that you don’t mind being hidden away for at least the next year-when you open the time capsule up again!

In my 2020 time capsule, I thought it was important to include a few things that were essential to my day to day living this year:

Such items include:

  • A cloth mask
  • A bottle of hand sanitizer
  • “on the go” Clorox wipes
  • A pair of latex gloves

Then, I wanted to include some of the things that helped me pass the time throughout the “stay at home order”.

Such things include:

  • A list of the books and plays I read this year
  • A list of all the tv shows I “binged watched”
  • A list of the music that kept me going this year
  • A ripped-out page from one of the (many) books of word searches I completed
  • A small box of crayons
  • A recipe that I learned this year

The year 2020 was full of not only world changes but life changes. The next list of things I included in my time capsule are things that I was proud of accomplishing.

Such things include:

  • A pencil to represent receiving my Master’s degree
  • An old key to represent moving to a new city
  • An “I voted” sticker
  • A printout of my first paystub from a new job

Writing a letter to your past and future self is another thing that can be fun to look back on. In my time capsule, I included a letter to my past self. This letter included things I wish I would have known before 2020 started, and things I want to remind myself of, whether that be encouraging words or words of wisdom from a lesson that 2020 taught me.

In my letter to my future self, I wrote down my goals for the next year, but I also made sure to remind myself that goals don’t always need to have a time limit. I reminded myself to be kind to my mind, body and soul and to never feel ashamed of taking some time to breathe and “just be”. Reminders like this can be so helpful, especially when you are about to start a brand-new year.

Remember, your time capsule is yours and there is no “right” or “wrong” way to make your time capsule. To start off, I would suggest taking some time to reflect and write down some of the things that stand out most to you from 2020, negative AND positive and get inspiration from what you’ve written! If you’re doing this with family or friends and you feel you are in a safe space to do so, make this an open discussion and remind each other of things that may have been forgotten!

Once you are happy with your 2020 time-capsule, close it up and put it somewhere out of reach, or have a family member “hide” it for you. Be sure to take not of where it is, you’ll want to know so you can open it up a year from now! The amount of time you keep your time capsule “hidden” is also up to you to decide. Make time capsules a yearly tradition and open it up on New Years Eve of 2021 before making a 2021 time capsule! Or, keep it hidden for 10 years and open it up then to reflect on how it has been a decade since “the year of the pandemic”.

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