One of my daughters says I’m a compulsive hoarder. Let me set the record straight and say I’m no where near being called out on an upcoming Oprah show. Yes, I have hung onto things, even with my many moves over the last thirty years; I still have stuff I collected in high school.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saving things that hold significance; I absolutely love reconnecting with my past.
This friend from junior and high school died shortly after graduation. This is a reminder of our sweet friendship and her keen humor.
Having that tangible evidence in my hands: scrapbooks that hold movie tickets and faded flowers from past dates, my children’s baby dresses and blankets, airline tickets from places I may never get the chance to ever visit again; these items bring back memories that give me comfort and joy. It’s that ability to hold the past in your hand or in your mind that made me a historian, genealogist, and oral historian, after all.
So, yes, I am a collector of things past. Yesterday, as I organized my home office I ran across a 2002 Far Side daily planner. I opened it and found myself reading a day-to-day account of my life from January 1 to December 31.
A day-in-the-life from 2002
Reading certain entries I was able to clearly recall the event or mood of a day seven years previous. I realize that I hadn’t kept the practice up, that I have little recollection of what I did a week ago, much less every day over the last few years. Starting today, my day planner will begin to be filled with more than just the “gotta-dos.”
Here’s a sample of My Life circa 2002
•My thyroid problem escalated and after repeated consultations with endocrinologists, it was removed in May
•I followed daughter Adrian’s pregnancy, first from afar while she lived in New York, then when she came to live with us, close at hand, a memory I’ll always cherish
•Daughter Erin’s coming-of-age at our home in Vegas, before she decided to move back to where she was really happy, getting her first apartment in Attica, New York
•The birth of beautiful Aiden
His 6-year-old self's art creation
•My ever-increasing discontent working in a job that ran me ragged, the work never ending, the compromises I made for the sake of a measly paycheck
•The escape from the job I hated to work for a summer in Yosemite National Park where I worked in museum archives, where my daughters, grandson and best friend came to stay for extended periods of time. We read, talked, laughed, hiked, and bonded like never before
•The once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy, to the birthplace of my paternal grandfather and to see with my own eyes a place of such ancient history
Train Ticket from Italy trip
•One entry had my current weight with a sad face penciled in next to it. Boy, if only I could still be that weight now! I see I have gained 2 pounds a year since then
•The many fluctuations of the relationship with my husband: sometimes we argued, sometimes things were better than ever. Always, money was at the crux of our discord; there was never, ever enough of it
•Visits with various family and the places around town we showed them
•Marking the first anniversary of 9-11
Yes, 2002 was a very busy year, as I am sure every year has been before and since. I’m looking forward to reading about today in the future and recalling memories that make me smile.