Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A quick way to remember your whole life -

For no particular reason I am working to remember my life. 

Growing up, my family moved about every two years. My dad's job with Westin hotels brought us all over the country.  This made remembering parts of my life easy.  Someone says something about 1988 and I remember where I lived, what grade I was in and what my house and bedroom were like in 1988, because a year later I was in a different grade and a different house - perfect time capsules.  It compartmentalizes my brain and makes recall easy.  Now as an adult I don't move houses every two years and I have similar jobs and the same husband and friends and clothes and in Florida it's the same season all year and so things get blurry.  What year did we first start trying to get pregnant?  How many years have I taught?  When did I buy my car?  What year did we go to San Francisco?  The answer to almost all those questions is - "I don't know." The bigger question is - why am I trying to remember - why do I care?  The answer there is the same. "I don't know."

It's no help that now that we are in the 2000's and 2003 feels the same as 2007 when I picture the number in my brain. The 80's didn't feel that way. 

Years ago I created what I call my "timeline." I won't say that Facebook stole this term from me as Zuckerberg doesn't know my brain, but I did use it before he went public with it. Whatever.

My timeline is a document on my computer that lists each month of each year and starts when I graduated high school. I only have a few things written each month from back then as I didn't remember the mega details when I started my timeline, but in more recent years my months are a little more detailed.  I write a few months at a time and write big and small things for the month.  Where I work, mixed with a movie we saw that month, a big purchase, or a mini-trip, my mood, my health, our ages, etc.  It's not in sentence form, just words.  

One month I won't forget: November 2006 - Got married!

Here is a less interesting month (my comments are strangely personal, especially once we are working to get pregnant, so I had to find one that wasn't salacious)  - October of 2002:
 "Oct - living in Lakeland; hired at McBride’s campaign; Miami trip w/ Joe and campaign, met Clinton, drank bloody marys"

Thrilling I know. I refer to my timeline often though - for different things and it's also fun to see my state of mind or activities.  Sometimes I will write one word and it means a huge big thing to me.  This is the Tired Girl's version of journaling.

Every so often I email the document to myself in google so if all of my computers crashed and my thumb drives disappeared I have a new copy for myself living in cyberspace.  

I admit there have been years that I have gotten way behind or looked back at a year and thought man that was a rinky dink year - nothing remarkable for a 12 whole months, or some months that hurt to even read my comments. Writing down a few things from each month doesn't take much energy at all though, and sure has a big impact in the long run.  Some day when my timeline is 35 pages long I can look back at my whole life!  

And my last two statements about this - if you are still awake.
1) If it feels too overwhelming to go back and remember, or you have times/years you want to forget, then don't go back. Just start from this month - August of 2013 can be the beginning of your whole life. Hooray!

2) Be honest in your words - this is only for you to look at so put the truth, in the long run you'll be glad to see what you were really doing and really felt. I have plenty of months and whole years I wouldn't want anyone to see.

Anyone else have an easy, Tired Girlish way that they keep track of their lives? 

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