Over the years, I’ve learned that I’m great at keeping notes. I’m just not very good at making them.
I make notes of everything. That way, I don’t need to remember things. Every morning when I sit before my computer, I’m caught like a deer in headlights by the dozens of tiny notes posted along the edges my monitor. Placed haphazardly in no order of importance and overlapping one another, they frame my screen like a mat around a painting. These notes serve as reminders of what’s to be accomplished: if it’s important, chances are good I’ve posted a note about it on my monitor.
It’s a good method. Unfortunately it doesn’t work for me, because I’m not a good note maker. My notes are cryptic at best: while they make sense moments after I’ve written them, most are simply not understandable the following day. As a result, I have a vast array of posted, worthless notes that no longer make sense – and each week, their number grows.
To prove my point, here’s a pathetic sampling of my current collection:
- Status of Call Last Week. Which call? Which week???
- 10:30 Sunday. This is the oldest note of the collection. I never noted which Sunday, or exactly what would happen at 10:30 on whichever Sunday it was. So just about every Sunday, I note (sorry… bad pun) when 10:30 passes, hoping that whatever was supposed to happen has already occurred without incident, or that something will eventually happen some Sunday to remind me of it.
- Birthday Card. This was probably a reminder to pick up a card for my mother three months ago, which… uh… I’m pretty sure I did. I keep it around to remind myself to pick up any other birthday cards I may need.
- Closed 8/18 – 8/21. I have no idea what will be closed, why they will be closed, why this information was (or is) important, or what will happen if I don’t do what I can’t remember needs to be done before whatever this place is closes.
- BJ2. I’ve even Googled this one, but it didn’t help. I have absolutely no clue what it means. This note’s destined for the trash can.
Even though I don’t recall the cosmic meaning of these notes, I keep them. I believe that some day I will have an epiphany, and suddenly decipher them like a mad scientist who’s discovered the primer to a complex code. Sadly, this has yet to happen.
After recently reviewing this pathetic collection, I resolved to find a better system of making notes. Apparently I never figured out how, because the next morning I discovered a new note on my monitor that merely stated, ‘better system.’ For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why I thought I needed a new computer – unless it was to purchase a larger monitor, since my collection of notes was now encroaching the screen, making it harder for me to see my work.
I found myself further pondering the mysteries of these notes last week during a phone conversation with a friend. When I told her of my quandary, she giggled. “You should write an article about this,” she said. “It’s pretty funny.”
To her, maybe…
Before I hung up, she asked me to send her a copy of the article when it was finished. So… uh… I made a note to do this.
The following week, I discovered another note on the monitor and had no idea why I wrote it. It simply said, ‘send article.’
Which article? Send it where?