Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Run through

I have mentioned in past posts how sometimes I am surprised when I review the imaged pinned to my mental calendar as memory tags to find events were so recent, or so long, ago.

As an experiment, here is a quick review for the images for the 22nd of each month from when I began this process of remembering every day that passes. I want to explore whether they feel as long ago as they should be, amongst other things.

So here goes.

22 December 2011 (Thursday): Christmas shopping with my wife and niece - without this tag, I would be hard pressed to remember this specific outing or that it took place in 2011.

22 January 2012 (Sunday): Watched the film, The Artist, with aching legs after a run. Would not have a clue the year it came out without this tag.

22 February 2012 (Wednesday): Conversation with a work guest. Planning for a significant event in December 2012. Seems like it was over two years ago.

22 March 2012 (Thursday): Collecting my wife from her language clash – the road was blocked. Captures that whole time of 9 months living in a particular flat in my country. A happy and more settled time. Glad I can remember it. Similar periods in earlier years are very indistinct and shapeless, just odd memories.

22 April 2012 (Sunday): Lunch at a favourite restaurant. Our first visit on moving back to my country after living in my wife's till the end of November 2011. I remember where we sat and what we had to eat. The same is true of subsequent visits. Previously they would likely have merged into one.

22 May 2012 (Tuesday): Trip to a nearby town as time of lieu after a working weekend. Probably would have forgotten all about this otherwise. But it was the first time we visited a particular café.

22 June 2012 (Friday): Wrote a report on a work success. This is a matter of history. Seems a long time ago - but then nearly two years is a long time, brought home to me by being able to remember every single day between then and now.

22 July 2012 (Sunday): Relatives of my wife's who were visiting returned home. Yup. Two years ago. That's a long time. Almost possible to see I have aged a little – certainly there have been some experiences along the way since then.

22 August 2012 (Wednesday): Sheltered in the rain with my wife before heading home to watch the Olympics closing ceremony on television. Of course, we would remember it was 2012.

22 September 2012 (Saturday): Final Saturday in our flat as we plan to move to return to my wife's country. A period that had seemed settled, was just a short chapter in our lives.

22 October 2012 (Monday): We returned to my wife's country to find my niece seriously ill – we didn't know when we went with her on this day for her first chemotherapy session at an out-patient clinic that she would not be with us 13 months later. These memories are precious as she is now frozen in the past.

22 November 2012 (Thursday): I had to sort out my visa for travelling for the conference discussed back in February. This process gives me landmarks to track the progress of stories like this.

22 December 2012 (Saturday): A gathering of family and friends for my niece.

22 January 2013 (Tuesday): Staying along at my sister-in-law's holiday apartment to work while my wife stays with our niece. Today I was sorting out a problem with the electrical supply.

22 February 2013 (Friday): Riding my bike to the swimming pool in our home town in my wife's country. It is the sound of the chain running through my cycling helmet that reminds me of this day.

22 March 2013 (Friday): A session with a physiotherapist as part of a course on global postural re-education (described elsewhere on this blog). It began on 21 February 2013. This has now become part of my routine. Again, I would not know when I first began this regime without following this process.

22 April 2013 (Monday): After nearly a month away from our home town, we are back with my mother and sister-in-law. Seems more than a year ago. My mother-in-law was taken ill while she was with us, so a difficult time. She's better now. Perhaps that's why I want to feel it is behind us.

22 May 2013 (Wednesday): Back in my country - on this day we travelled from my parents where we first stayed, to a house rented near my office. Something I could easily have forgotten. But I have the details of where we stayed, going for a walk on this first afternoon then and stopping for a drink.

22 June 2013 (Saturday): A 5 km race. This was organised by a running club I would go on to join. My wife had returned to her country to care for her niece. A year later, I was a volunteer helping to organise this race. In that year, I progressed to run 10 km races and read a lot about training and theory. It is encouraging to see how far I have come in a year, with still a long way to go.

22 July 2013 (Monday): A year ago today. What was I doing on this day? Not running as I had sore knees from running my first 5 mile race two days before. Usually thinking back to the same date a year before brings home just how long a year is. In the first 18 months or so of this process, I would sometimes do a long run through of every day from when I began. On a long solo car journey was a good time. There are two many days now, but perhaps I should run through the past year once in a while. Every day I get up. Do it 365 times and a year has passed.

22 August 2013 (Thursday): My mother went to the memory clinic for an assessment as her short-term memory is failing her. She was 74 at the time. They did not prescribe anything at that time, though they would later. Her coping strategies had masked the actual changes to her brain. 'At least I'm in the system', she said when she came back. I took my parents out to lunch to get on with life.

22 September 2013 (Sunday): My wife was back in time for my father's 80th birthday. We gave him an iPod and took him on a surprise trip to meet up with my brother and his family. In some ways, this day seems longer ago than less than a year. Why might that be, I wonder?

22 October 2013 (Tuesday): I can't reach my wife on the phone, but see her walking home as I cycle back. Her phone has broken. A memory I would probably not keep were it not for following this process, but I am glad to have it.

22 November 2013 (Friday): My has returned to her country to care for her niece, in time to be there for her final three weeks of life. In the end she died suddenly and was buried quickly. I am tying up loose ends so I can join her and the family for an extended period.

22 December 2013 (Sunday): So in my wife's country once more. A sister-in-law has a 60th birthday, but it is a subdued affair, remembering our niece. It is only recently that the six-month window of my more in-depth review (two days per week) has moved beyond this period. Relinquishing 2013 was a wrench. Now it is surprising that 2014 is already over half done.

22 January 2014 (Wednesday): My wife an I are staying in the holiday flat again for a month. Today the family who lost a daughter are arriving.

22 February 2014 (Saturday): A haircut. One of the recurring events I choose to remember. My barber when we are home is now 82 and I am pleased to find him still cutting the hair of his old faithful clients on Saturdays. His hands shake now and though he is still competent, not going to instill confidence in new customers.

22 March 2014 (Saturday): Back to my country once more. We have always moved between the two, but I am hard pressed to know for sure where we were before I began this process. Once I had to work it out for bureaucratic reasons and went through my passport stamps. For the past three years, I know from my memory. I've written before how this process changes the nature of the transitions: I am not so dislocated from the two lives we lead in different countries.

22 April 2014 (Tuesday): It is surprising that so much of 2014 has already been consigned to my memory. For the first month or so, I still felt rooted in 2013. On this day I drove to the office to unload the car of resources I had been using. The following day, I pulled a tendon in my knee, opening a chapter of recovery and treatment that closed on 6 July when I ran my first half marathon.

22 May 2014 (Thursday): I bought a foam roller as part of the process of getting back into running after my injury.

22 June 2014 (Sunday): The day after I volunteered to help at the 5 km race I ran the year before. A whole year gone by since then. On this day, I went for lunch with my parents before heading back to where I work.

22 July 2014 (Tuesday): And so to today. Another day that will be captured in an image pinned to my mental calendar. I'm not sure what it will be yet. That will come as I lay down to sleep and run through each memory tag for the past month, ending with today.

Looking back, that's snapshots of 32 days, capturing some of the significant – and not so significant – events of the past three years.

Tomorrow I will run through the 23rd of each month, usually in short annual block because the small blocks of time it takes fit easily around other activities.

Some years, I run through in minutes. Other times a day will stop me short and make me reflect, perhaps reminding me of other times beyond this arbitrary window of remembering.

Other days of the month capture other events. For example, the above sequence totally misses out the recent soccer world cup that figures in recent memory tags.

I don't know where this is heading. In ten years time will I run through 120 images at some point during the day? Will I have given up? Will my review process have developed so I can still find the memories, but don't call them to mind so often?

This sequence will come round again in a month's time. Today will then be captured in a memory tag.

While the past cannot be re-written, I have a new perception of it with each review. Stories progress. Situations change.

Perhaps, imperceptibly, I become a different person to who I was in my memories.

No comments:

Post a Comment