Last spring I took this picture of what both my diary and my planner said I was doing a year ago now. Oh, I use Google’s calendar too with its alerts and reminders, but man:
I do love writing a thing down.
I love writing it down both beforehand and afterward. I love the planning and I love the living-out of what I have planned
A year ago today, according to my paper planner, it says that I:
One, went to the dentist’s to pay a bill;
Two, bade farewell to the 8th grader who came to look at our town’s awesome A Better Chance program;
Three, went through a bunch of old columns I had written (always a humility-inducing exercise);
Four, called Verizon – and the scowly face I drew shows I was not happy even then with the streaming speed in our kitchen;
Five, – Verizon again! – met my grown son at the Verizon Wireless storefront with the hope of getting him to eat a bite with me afterward.
He was living at the time in Somerville, the Boston-area equivalent of Greenwich Village
The planner doesn’t show what my Google Calendar says I also did, like run on my treadmill for 30 minutes, catch a Stretch Class at the Y and take a moment to ponder the fact that it was the birthday of Thomas Jefferson.
But now I look at the diary entry, and see that it speaks only of meeting my son at the Verizon store and talking with him at dinner.
What we talked about if, you can’t read the writing, was how happy his college pals sounded when he told them that after almost four years in New England, he would be returning in August to the town so nice they named it twice, to get an MBA at NYU’s Stern School of Management.
He used to work as an artist, which means he is a creative person. I am a writer, or a ‘creative’ too, so he has always kind of ‘gotten’ me. He has comforted me so much the times we have spoken about the creative life.
But now he’d be joining the business world. My two other kids are in that world too so there it is: As my husband David merrilyput it, he who has been in manufacturing all his life, “That’s three for me, TT, none for you!” (He calls me ‘TT’.)
Since the MBA is a two-year program our son is still there in New York, learning all about the wide world of the marketplace. By all the signs, he loves the whole experience, loves being near his college friends again, loves the million new friends he has made and loves all he is learning, so I guess for sure he’s headed for that world.
Me, I’m not in that world. I’m more in the noticing and remembering world.
The pay isn’t great and let’s face it who is ever going to do more than groan over the sight of these bookcases full of planners and diaries I leave behind, but still: I am happy I have been a rememberer. I remember so I can be ready for that final moment they say we all get at the end when our whole life flashes before our eyes.
“Hey!” I’ll say. “There goes April 13th!
Good times on that date, year after year whether recorded or not, whether planned for or not. Almost too many good times to count and I thank you, God, for that.
These only LOOK like National Geographics. They’re really Nat Geo cases with all my diaries inside .