17 September 2012


I didn’t die and I didn’t lose my mind…just part of my memory.

I did not start this blog with the idea of making a few posts and then dropping off the face of the world. But life jumps sideways at you sometimes. In my case, it did so in the form of a very bad reaction to a long-term, time-release type of medication that impacted my short-term memory in disastrous ways.
To fully understand that impact, you would have had to have known me before. I had one of those disgustingly good memories that rarely lost anything. As a student, it made some parts of school too easy. As a genealogist, it gave me the ability to jump back and forth between family lines and to cite chapter and verse on what I knew about nearly any ancestor in my research database.

And it had always been so – the memory was simply a huge part of who I was. I never needed to take elaborate notes because I could pull up the whole lecture almost word for word. Looking back from my current perspective, I am quite sure that at least some of the people who worked for me when I was a young manager thought I was a jerk. I simply did not understand the excuse “I forgot.”  I don’t just mean that I didn’t sympathize; I mean that I literally did not understand it.
Suddenly finding myself  forgetting phone calls or emails that needed follow-up, or meetings and appointments that were important, or, in this case, making posts to my new blog, was not only baffling, it scared the hell out of me. Because I had never needed them, I had never learned the little tricks that most people use - the notebooks and calendars, the day planners, etc. So until things began to get better, it interfered in my life in many unexpected and often unpleasant ways.

But time has passed, the meds are out of my system and things have gotten better.  The memory has greatly improved, but has not fully returned to its old ways.  It probably never will. My wife jokes that my memory is still perfect; it is my indexing system that now occasionally fails. And she is right – I don’t forget too much these days but even if I do lose something, once reminded I can usually pull it up in chapter and verse.  

I have read that inconsistency in a blog posts is the kiss of death. Probably so, but time will tell.  I feel good about the reboot, and during the last year I have added some wonderful crutches – like the popup calendar - to my tool chest.  So now we begin again; let’s see where this road leads.