The chronology of your life

Just discovered Dipity (I wish I remembered how, so I could credit the source of the link I followed).

For years, I've been meaning to compile a chronology of my life--mostly for my kids, for when they wonder how old I was when something happened, and later for me, if I end up an old and forgetful woman. Since my mother has vascular dementia, and the woman she was packed up and departed a little bit at a time before we all realized completely what was happening, this possibility scares me.

Now I have to decide which things in my life belong on a timeline, and when they belong. There are so many unforgettable moments--but I've forgotten when, exactly, they happened....

How detailed a chronology should it be? I have written journals (in actual handwriting, on actual paper, with sporadic entries) going back roughly 13? years, my high school diaries, and nothing in between. I'm not planning to re-read those any time soon, if at all.

It's easy to remember some big, significant dates, like childbirth and marriage and election days. Looking up the actual effective date of a divorce doesn't make for a joyful trip down memory lane, although it closes the loop.

So much of what makes for a real and satisfying life doesn't attach to any one date:

Laughing until I cry at something my beloved Eric said, finishing an incredibly long bike ride because he encouraged me all the way, or sitting out on our back patio with a glass of good wine, listening to the evening frogs.

Fast & furious wordplay with oldest daughter Kate (who gets funnier with each passing year--very dry wit, adult insights, and great vocabulary and dramatic flair).

Watching daughter Laura blossom into a beautiful, sweet, funny, kind young woman who got along with every group of kids in her gifted/talented middle school program, and who started high school yesterday.

Learning what foods Eric's kids Connor and Cailey will eat and enjoy in our vegetarian household, and finding out much to my pleasure that they love tacos made with TVP and my stir-fry.

Working on something I believe in, and having a project or event come to fruition in a way that makes a difference.

Life isn't chronology.

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