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October 25, 2013: Listless

I have written several dispatches about list-keeping. But they keep surfacing, most likely because I keep making lists. I usually write what needs to be done on 8 x 11 sheets of paper, one after another, crossing things out when the task is either underway, or nearly done.

It was my hope that once we got home, that I’d be able to make a small list and do the things on it. Then, after a bit there would be no more lists. But oddly enough, for everything that I’ve written down that needs to be done, two more things have materialized. Why is this? I don’t know, and I won’t know.

I’m going to persist because someday I will look at a blank page and feel a sense of completion. Someday. The white page. I will step into it and disappear into the abyss. What will remain behind will be innumerable pages, with many, many lists.

I’m finding that I’m now becoming more list dependent. This is because my short term memory is starting to fade. For instance, this morning I made a short list of things that I needed Pete to help me with. Then I forgot to show him this list. My subsequent recollection was that oh, oh, I could only remember two of three things on this list.

I marched back upstairs and looked at the list, which I’d left on my desk, next to my computer. Amazingly, I at least remembered where the list was. When I looked at the list, which was on a torn piece of paper, I didn’t think “oh yeah, this is what I forgot.” Rather, I saw the items on the list as something that I’d knew I’d need to see in order to remember what it was.

So, memory loss – this is a consequence of getting older. I do not feel as old as some who are my age feel. But this is a sign that I’m “getting up there.” So is hearing loss.

The problem with both memory and hearing loss is that they force a person to retreat further into themselves. It’s tempting, to live in my past, given that mine was quite interesting. How cool, to think that I might spend the second half of my life reliving it. Plus, I can, in the process, reshape it to my liking. The only problem with this is that I will miss out on what’s going on in the present, most of which is equally interesting.

Well now, a brief consolation. I can now cross “Write Today’s Dispatch” off my list. It’s time to move on, to finish writing up the list of places we camped at this past summer. This was difficult to reconstruct because I didn’t keep a good list. Too much going on. Plus, I thought I’d remember each and every campsite. Next big trip (if there is one), I’ll do a better job of list keeping.

Next: 213: 10/26/13: The Importance of Exercise