keeping time

Being self employed brings with it some odd consequences. For example, I never know what day it is, or what time. I stopped wearing a watch years ago, and we don’t even have a calendar on the wall anymore. I do keep track of appointments on the computer, but that’s very limited interaction. I make a note of the appointment, and the program reminds me one week before, one day before, one hour before.

Time has become fluid in a way I never imagined. The other day I dated a check 1976. Really. I realized as soon as I wrote the ‘six’ that I was WAY off, and then I stood there for a moment trying to figure out what the heck my brain was doing. Was something going on in 1976 that my subconscious wants me to remember? I spent that entire year in Austria and rarely even read a newspaper. The local radio station reported primarily on what the legislature was up to. Their own legislature, of course. In some ways I was in a time bubble, completely removed from the worries of the day outside that mountain valley.

No such excuse at this point and I do, at times, have to reach for the year. It’s true that I’m perpetually distracted, but not knowing the year straight off — that’s more like early onset you-know-what. Which does not run in the family, not on either side. Now, memory problems are one symptom of what my mother’s generation called “the change of life” — but these days the supplements that would fix memory issues are also linked to higher rates of breast cancer. So: no. Unless it gets really bad, and I can’t remember the Girlchild’s date of birth.

A slightly related matter: If I could wave a wand and change something about the internet, here it is: Would you PLEASE put the date in an obvious, easy to read place on your posts — AND INCLUDE THE YEAR. I often go searching for information on a product, and I can’t count the number of times that a review that looked promising turned out to be five years old. Or had no date at all, but the only way to know that was to search inch by inch over the whole post. Not including the date is like leaving a sign on a shop door that says be back in fifteen minutes.

The only way this makes sense is if you know when the person left. Ten minutes ago? Ten days ago? We need to be anchored in time. If I had the energy I’d start a GIMME THE BLASTED DATE movement.