Saturday, October 24, 2009

Too Compulsive? Not Enough? Hell If I Know!

I spent about an hour today with this little red notebook I have. It's spiral-bound, lined, perforated and hole-punched, and I've had it for about 2 and a half years. My goal was to record daily events and also to house keepsakes such as movie tickets, programs, etc. to keep sort of a 3-dimensional record of my daily activities.

Today I decided to ditch the scribbles and just use it as a scrapbook.

A quick side-note: People either love scrapbooking or hate it. Those who love it are among those who turned "scrapbook" into a verb not all that long ago. I personally have no time or use for the type of activity that involves buying little cutout frames for a scrapbook.
Watching shows like Clean Sweep, I've seen how the pastime can just suck you into a black hole of clutter and never-get-it-doneness. So, no, I don't "scrapbook" in that sense of the word. But I do like the idea of keeping souvenirs of what you've been up to. So I try to accumulate mine in a big wooden box that used to hold tea -- a gift from someone long ago. It's the perfect size. With a bit of extra time and ambition, I can pull my junk from the box and paste or staple it into the book. But that's it -- no captions, other than identifiers such as the date, no little frames, no stickers, no photos ... just proof that "I was there" if it's ever needed.
Making the decision to just use the book for memorabilia was such a huge weight off my mind! In addition to this blog, I have a couple others out there in the ether. Like this one, it gets updated when I have something to say, which obviously doesn't happen all that often. I've come to accept this. The world doesn't need to know what I had for dinner last night, and for those who do want to know, they can friend me on Facebook.

But I do try, very hard, to keep track of my activities, and get very upset with myself when I fall behind. I've kept a diary since age 12. Yes, of course, it was the kind with the lock and key. Then in high school I switched over to tablet-style notebooks. I had 3 of them taped together. At the time of my pregnancy, the hormones had my moods bouncing all over the place; I read some of my entries from high school and this got me so upset I burned the diary. Yes, the whole thing. Five years or so worth. Along with that went all the lock-and-key books.

The dedicated diarist who reads this is probably cringing. But it's okay. I don't really miss those books or regret tossing them. Part of the reason for re-reading them at the time was to congratulate myself on how much I'd changed since high school. It worked too well: I read some of my teenage thoughts and felt genuinely distressed to know that the obnoxious author was ME.
I still have enough photos and school records not to render my entire youth a blank. I always figure Wally will one day want to get a glimpse of his own childhood or the years that predate him. This is because there are too many blanks for me when trying to understand my own parents. Given their loud proclamations, accusations and ruminations while under the influence, I did get plenty of "information," but not enough that makes sense to me now. So I'd like to make it easier for Wally (or perhaps his kids) to piece it together.

Either that, or it's just good old fashioned narcissism...

At any rate, my desire to keep a connected thread going has given rise to:
  • A monthly journal on my hard drive, subdivided into daily entries, weekly summaries, a monthly wrap-up, individual categories such as health, money, weather, home, marriage, Wally, friends, news, obituaries, and upcoming events
  • Not one, but TWO logs on, one for me and one for goings-on at work
  • Ubernote, to save clips of interesting things I encounter on line
  • Evernote, same as ubernote but a bit more versatile
  • Day planners of various kinds, including 6 slipcased editions of the Franklin-Covey "7 Habits" organizer
  • This blog, one on LiveJournal, one on MySpace (soon to be defunct), Twitter and Facebook
...and yet I wonder whether it's inadequate, or a complete waste of time.

Small Comfort: I'm not as bad as this guy.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

That's thoughtful of you. Good girl!!!