Art by T Kurtz

Memory is a funny thing.  Which is kinda scary when we consider how much we rely on it.  We use it to tie our shoes, write our name, add and subtract; the list is long and scientists have been studying it for centuries.  I actually suffered from memory loss once, three months were completely wiped clean.  I forgot names of good friends, places I had known like the back of my hand, and valuable experiences like my husband graduating from college.  I’m considered healthy, they did tests.  The only explanation was a “dissociative fugue state” brought on by stress.  It was frightening until a younger friend pulled me aside and told me she had gone through a similar event herself.  That conversation alone made me feel better, because she always has her stuff together.  If she could recover, so could I.

Why then, do I rely on mine so much?  I, of all people should consider how fragile memory can be.  I have become a diligent record keeper, but I still don’t write lists.  Simple reminders to help me get through the day, week and month.  You only get to use the, “I had this memory thing” so often.  I have a calendar, actually 3 of them; one that is huge and hung in my office showing the entire year, one that fits in my purse and one on my phone.  Raise your hands if you “remember” the dayplannersfrom the “80s.  Big hair, short skirts, wide shoulders and these thick books with decorative covers that planned our lives for the next 30 days. 

I will make lists periodically, and forget where I put them, to take them with me….. but I am trying.  My record keeping, now that is amazing.  If I remember to keep up on it.  That is the funny part.  Being a business owner, I need to be very diligent with my records.  I can say that I do have pretty good record keeping skills, now.  I try to make it fun and I think to myself, this is a physical manifestation of everything I have accomplished this year.  It gives me something to look at, makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.  You do so much in a year as an artist but sometimes it is hard to look back and see everything you have done in only 12 months.  Keep your records, don’t rely on your memory.  If we are lucky, our art will last us longer than any memory of us anyway.