Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tricks memory plays on you

Yesterday I finally started on something I've mean to do for quite a while. I've seen in a couple of different places, mostly writing prompts I think, how you should keep a timeline of your life, sort of a life resume. Not just of jobs held but of important events in your life.

I thought I remember it all fairly well but as I began to try to compile the document I found myself remembering a surprising number of things only dimly and getting things in the wrong chronological order. I also found out that I am horrible with dates.

I discovered another oddity for things farther back in my past, and I'm really just talking since I've been married. Jobs I held back then that had seemed like I'd been there a long time in reality turned out to be only a couple of years. One house we lived in which I'd been sure we'd lived in for a very long time was also only about two years.

A more recent house that we DID live in for 10 years seemed no longer than the one back in the distant past, and remember I've been married 31 years so the distant past is pretty distant.

All in all it's been an eye opening experience creating this life timeline or whatever you choose to call it. I'm glad I'm working on it and have a feeling that I'll be VERY glad in another 20 years. I know I've still got things to add and dates to refine. Some things will be hard to document because they were before I began to journal in any form. That is another thing that will be nice in 20 years or so. Journals like this one and the private ones I have kept over the years either in actual paper journals written long hand or on my computer will be invaluable to look back on somewhere down the road.

Mostly right now I'm musing over the oddity of how compressed time seems the farther back I go in my memory. I wonder if it's just me or if it's a common thing.


Indigo said...

I'm surprised when I go to write down an entry on my life or past events how much clarity I have. Yet it I were to just think on those events, I wouldn't give them much thought. In a way journaling has helped me write down life experiences that have made or broke me, yet still reside as life lessons. I think it's a great thing to chronical ones life. (Hugs)Indigo said...

I think it is a great idea. When my mother died I had a lot of unanswered questions and there was no one to answer them. A journal such as you are starting would have been most appreciated. Maybe your mother can help you fill in a few things.

Robin said...

What a great idea!