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Archive for December 11th, 2007

Memory Burn

It’s a phenomena in which our brains automatically store momentous occasions – burned into widely distributed neocortical areas throughout the brain. There are many things etched in the memory. Some appear frequently, short-term things – like pin numbers and passwords. Other events are stored for posterity – like the aroma of your first love’s perfume, the taste or feeling of a first meaningful kiss, or staring at a bluebook during a college test and drawing a complete blank (I hated when that happened).

Of the many kinds of brain damage that can occur, I think amnesia would be an awful thing to experience. To not be able to recall your history – the events of your life – would be so defeating. Imagine what loved ones go through when a family member has alzheimer’s disease. Imagine slowly losing all recall of your life’s work – your past.

I’ve lived roughly half my life and at 42 I have pages and pages of memories I could log, and perhaps this blog will become my log for my best memories. Building snow forts. Making my Dad a birthday card. Auditioning for first chair of the percussion section in high school. Falling in love. Having my heart broken. Shaking hands with a U.S. president. Graduating from college. Watching the birth of my two awesome kids. Seeing my mom’s slow decline in health and wanting to just help her maintain her dignity. Breaking hearts. Getting published. Mentoring friends. My first century ride.

There are dozens and dozens of memories I never want to let go of or forget. We pass these memories on to our children and hope they’ll tell their grandchildren the stories with a certain amount of pride as they recall each detail.

Memories are who we are. They serve as our foundation. They make us better. They make us humble.

Make as many as possible. Feel the memory burn…while you still can.

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Wordplay – Pedantic

We’ve all known people who are focused on “the rules” to the point that life goes into disarray the moment the most minor of rules gets a bit blurry.  Sometimes the blinders need to come off in order to do best-in-class work, or to simply live fully and vibrantly. Applying a pedantic philosophy to every situation limits the possibilities and – more frequently than not – creates ruts that may feel as deep as a grave.

pe-dan-tic – characterized by a narrow, often ostentatious concern for book learning and formal rules.

Her pedantic attention to detail caused frustration among the entire work group.

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