Patterns. I love patterns. There is something comfortable in repetition. You know what is coming next.
Maybe it’s the American school year ingrained in my sense of schedules and calendar that drives me to my blog’s calendar at the end of every summer. I plan out the entire year, topics I will cover, issues I want to tackle, projects to accomplish, goals to set.
I want to know what is coming next. I like plans. I like calendars. I like looking up on the wall, in an appointment book, and on my computer and smartphone and know the agenda for the next week.
Traveling to California to visit relatives, I was introduced to the concept of a keeping a simple datebook and journal by my Great Aunt. Every day she would note a few details of the day. A doctor’s visit, lunch with friends, a goal met, a memory preserved.
Aunt told me about visiting us in Seattle when I was young. I had no memory of that visit, but loved her stories of my adorable antics. “How old was I? When was that?”
She traced her finger across a bookcase of black leather datebooks and choose one with the gold embossed date on the spine “1965.” She flipped through the pages to the middle of the book. Summer.
She spread the book wide and pointed to June 26. The entry read, “In Seattle. Visited with nephew’s family. Little redhead Lorelle is quite the entertainer. Smart and witty company at only 5 years old.” There were a few more words about the rest of their day and my family, but I only could see the words related to me.
My aunt had preserved me at 5 years old. Summed up my character with kind and positive words. It was a moment saved, gone from my own memories.
Long before the fear of Alzheimer zapping our memories from existence became a daily discussion, I’ve always feared not remembering, forgetting important moments, people, and the powerful events that form our lives.
Calendars work in both directions, to preserve the past and set the course of the future. Both are important, and part of the balance of our lives.
It’s the pattern of living, day-by-day.