Thursday, September 02, 2010

I will forget ... I need to remember

Whoops!  Oh yah ... here I am! I nearly forgot that I needed to get my daily words posted, but just as I was winding down for the evening, my brain remembered that there were things that needed to be said. 

Are you a list-maker or do you manage to remember everything that is necessary in your life?  Or maybe you don't make lists and you don't remember things either.  Some days I feel like that is truly me.

I love lists, sometimes I desperately need them.  I've been known to make lists of things I want to tell people so that I don't forget by the time I finally see them.  That doesn't necessarily make great spontaneous conversation, but at least I don't leave and get halfway home before I realize that I didn't get everything said.

Now I have a fun program on the computer - I can email myself notes and lists from my telephone so that when I get back to the computer, there are all of the things I need to remember.  Oh yes, I love my lists.

On the wall behind me is a rather large calendar.  It is now filled with my deadlines and due dates for my classes.  I'm terrified that I will get caught up in life and forget the important stuff.

And that's the biggest thing for me ... forgetting the important stuff ... like my friends' birthdays and special days, times that I've promised I will do things.  Along with lists and notes ... calendars are important to me.  I don't actually like online calendars because not only do I like ensuring that I get things done on time, I also love to go back over my calendars and remember the things that I did.  I've got a bunch of calendars saved and when I dig back into the dates on those things, I get to trigger memories - some fabulous, some painful, but all of them mean something to me.

Dad was big on documenting everything.  He made lists for everything.  It's a riot now to go back through his stuff and find the crazy little lists that he made.  Or the notes that he wrote on various items, or the wild things that he saved.

We're probably getting close to replacing the water heater here at the cabin - within the next year or so - and today I pulled out the files that I gathered from his house and from a filing box he had here at the cabin of all things related to the place.  I pulled out the folder related to the water heater and found the manuals for the last two that he purchased.  Notes written on the top of the date he purchased them, how much he paid for them ... it's a huge help!

When we were looking for the septic tank last summer to get it cleared out and cleaned up, I dug into his files and discovered all of the receipts from 1979 when he installed it.  There were clear notes of all that had happened, prices, conversations he'd had.  I pulled it out to show to the guys who were working and believe it or not, those bits of information really helped them discern what needed to happen.  It didn't actually help them find the tank - we needed to bring in a locator to do that, but they saw what pipe had been used and how the thing laid out.

Dad's lists and notes and obsessive documentation are pretty incredible and it seemed as if he never forgot anything.  But, then I also have a stack of coil notebooks of his.  Every day he had one of those open on his desk and every day he would list all the things he needed to take care of.  As he dealt with things, he'd scratch it off his list and then move on.  He knew that he wouldn't remember to take care of things, so rather than trust his memory, he trusted the fact that he would write things down. 

I'm not nearly as good at this as he was ... I always seem to think I'll remember and then all of a sudden I've forgotten it all.  When I'm sure I will forget, I do pull out a 3x5 card and write myself a list or a note so that I will take care of things exactly the way I plan.  That's when I feel successful ... I can check my list and ensure that it's complete.

So ... lists?  No lists?  What's your organization look like?

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