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April 17, 2015

Write More, Memorize Less

Hal photo outside Feb2012“The palest ink is better than the best memory.” (Chinese Proverb)

My kids have been making fun of me a lot this week. This is not new, for I am frequently their target. What’s new is the subject of their barbs—my fading memory. As I get older, names and events seem to be slipping away at a rapid pace.

It’s not the years, it’s the mileage, I tell them. Mileage gained by raising them.

So, I find myself having to operate as a journalist, noting my way through life with a handy Moleskin journal. While this can be cumbersome, I’m finding an unexpected blessing along the way—how much more present I can be when I’m not worried about forgetting something. I’m listening more, noticing more, reflecting more.

So here’s the advice: Write more, memorize less. You end up detecting things you may have missed—like the time your daughter showed genuine gratitude—and you end up, ironically, remembering things you might never have thought of—like how much you actually enjoy yard work.

Maybe aging has its benefits. Who knew?


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