Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Memories shared, forgotten, and reviewed

I often share Facebook “Memories”, some of which are more meaningful (or whatever) than others, and in many of them I joke about something or other (often at my expense). Other times, they serve as a focus for reflection or remind me of other stories. In any case, they’re always a snapshot of what I was doing on a certain date. Yesterday’s assortment of Facebook “Memories” was an example I shared on Facebook as a sort of review of my "Memories" timeline.

On December 18, 2009, fourteen years ago yesterday, I was telling folks to hit me up if they wanted a Google Wave invite, adding “and I can’t imagine why”. A mere five years later, in 2014, I shared that “Memory”, and said I’d already forgotten about Google Wave. It turned out hardly anyone wanted it.

Also yesterday in 2014, I installed the FB Messenger app on my phone. Nowadays, I have it on my iPad (where I use it the most), and the MacOS version on my desktop Mac. When I shared this momentous achievement on FB in 2014, I said I did it “so you all can reach me even when I'm out and about (like today). 😊,” but I’m not sure that smiley emoji I ended with truly conveyed my sarcasm.

On December 18, 2017, I had a peanut butter and jam sandwich that, I said, was “just like my mother used to make! Well, yeah, if she used margarine with plant sterols, low-GI multi-grain bread with linseed & soy, no added salt peanut butter, and NZ jam that’s mostly fruit (but just a little because it’s still high in sugars). Sigh. Doctors take away all the fun.” All of which is still true, and it still amuses me. I also wrote a blog post about this particular social media post, using the original social media post  as a jumping off point for me to talk about the larger issues.

Things got real on this date in 2019 when I published a Note called “Nigel’s Shadow” (which I also published as a blog post). A side note: Why did Facebook take away the ability to create new Notes (or edit old ones—I always make typos, but often don’t notice for ages)? I think it was a mistake because they want people to spend more time in FB, but took away something that could help achieve their goal.

I found that the mostest winningest thing to happen on a December 18 was on December 18, 2022: That day, I mowed my lawns! Bonus, it was rushed because rain was predicted. And that “Memory” reinforces what I think we can all agree on: Apparently mowing my lawns is the centre of my entire life. Well, that and Leo.

None of these things are important, in my opinion. Some of the items in this review became blog posts, while others didn’t, as is often the case. But after I posted the original version of this “Memory” review on my personal Facebook, I realised that the things I post there are the closest I now have to the “daily” journals I used to keep from my mid-teens to my mid-20s (roughly), though there was a brief resurrection in my early days in New Zealand when I adapted emails to friends and family in the USA into a sort of journal—basically, similar to how I now often adapt things I post on social media to make into blog posts. In a sense, I’ve been doing this sort of cross-adaptation for decades—even before blogs and social media existed.

In recent years, though, I’ve often hesitated to adapt Facebook posts into blog posts, and two days ago there was a reason. That day, I talked about the “Memory” from December 17, 2017, and I intended to share it here, too—until I actually looked here and found I covered much of the same territory in a blog post on that date last year. While my Facebook post also talked about things I didn’t talk about here, it was similar enough that I didn’t want to talk about it again—and not for the first time. There have been several times in recent years when I had an idea for a blog post—and sometimes even started work on it—and then searched something or other on my blog and found out I’d already done a post that's substantially the same. I try and avoid that by not talking about the same subject at all—except when there’s a specific point in doing that, maybe.

Yesterday, then, when I again looked at my “Memories”, I knew that there was never a time I did anything like this review, so it was safe to do it and share it here, too. I added at the end of the Facebook post, “What will today add to this list? Stay tuned—it’ll be a surprise to me, too.”

I planned on adding there (and here) whatever it was I did yesterday, specifically, I planned on trimming Leo and was going to make a lame joke about “mowing” him. Trouble is, I developed a bad headache that didn’t want to go away, and I haven’t felt 100% since. In fact, the only thing I accomplished yesterday was to run the dishwasher—and felt too poorly to think of a way to make a joke about it—or, for that matter, to share yesterday’s Facebook post here. Now, I have.

There are plenty of things I planned to post here, not just FB "Memories", and whether they were begun, completed, or merely contemplated, they never made it to publication. As the year runs out, some of them may end up here after all. Or not. It’s been a rough couple years, and there’s no reason to think that’ll change in the next 10 days—unless it does, I guess. In any event, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are multi-post days between now and the end of the year—or if there aren't. That, too will "be a surprise to me, too.”

One thing is certain: Because this blog doesn’t take it upon itself to remind me what I posted on a certain date, it’s unlikely I’ll have a “Memory”, or even a memory, of this post. Some things really do never change.

And suddenly I have an urge to mow my lawns…


Roger Owen Green said...

Nothing bugs me as much as deciding to link to a blog post I wrote seven years ago and only then seeing a typo!

Arthur Schenck said...

Yep. I always correct typos, no matter how old the post is. I try and fix broken links, too, but that's not always possible, unfortunately.