Friday, July 13, 2012

Tracking Thoughts and Memories

Most people I know never keep a diary. They'd say what for? Or no time. And sadly they miss the opportunity to remember. Yes, remembering is a fading ability and the brain is hugely unreliable because it tends to mix up thoughts and corrupt them. It takes another person's memory of the same event to confirm or correct them. But this approach is also flawed.

Not so with keeping diaries. I'm not sure about young people nowadays, if there are surveys done in schools on how many students are in the habit of writing a diary or more. Mostly I'd guess very few as writing down our thoughts is considered 'old fashioned'. But I'm a fan of it and I'm glad it is my past time in my retirement years. Admittedly I didn't keep any diaries from my school days and has been my regret till today. How wonderful if I did for I'd be digging into my real past to read about the real me. But I'm glad I still keep a box of letters I wrote to my girlfriend who's now my wife more than 40 years ago. She didn't throw them away but pass to me after we got married. I'd be sure to read them one by one later.

What about photo albums? Right up to the year 2000 when I bought my first digital camera, and a few more years later, I was faithfully taking pictures and printing them into more than a hundred family albums. I labeled them lovingly and guard them jealously from harm. Occasionally I'd reach out for them to recall or refresh my memories. Like recalling when it was I last met up with my good friend Aaron before we reconnected in Auckland last month, I found a valuable old photo that brought that moment back to life.

Since around 2005 I stopped printing photos in bulk. Instead I'd pick those nicer and more memorable ones so my albums are growing much slower now. However they are replaced by digital albums and slideshows on my devices. The last few years really change the way I manage my image memories.

I only seriously start diary writing about 15 years ago and never stop ever since. Changing softwares to fit my needs in as recent as less than 2 years ago I opted for mobile journalizing after the iPad changed my lifestyle. Today I found a nice app called MyMemoir that allows me to keep as many as 9 journals at one go. Once done a journal can be published as an e-Book to be shared with loved ones and friends.

It is good to keep diaries, and they include blogs as well. After we're done for on earth whatever left of our existence is no longer physical but on records. Do write because it also help organize and keep the minds alert and active.

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