Taking Notes3 min read
I can't remember the last time I looked through my phone, looking for a photo I took at least a week earlier. I think I've been taking fewer pictures overall as well; At least going by how infrequently I move photos off my phone and into my computer now. More often, I've been using my eyes to capture the world and my memories to store it. I feel like I'm enjoying these observation sessions more than only taking photos. It's a bit like returning to my childhood when my senses were saturated with the essence of existence. All I needed, and had, was my memory.
One day, my memories will fade as well, but embracing transience is an important part of enjoying life. I love life. With all its quirks, foibles, and hardships, I would always go with living life. I've found the constant need to "record and share" is an obstacle to enjoying life. Living in the present seems to be when I'm happiest and I've become more appreciative of life. Part of what makes memories precious is that they go away. Part of what makes life precious is that it doesn't last either.
Sometimes, I do have to remember details that quite often are lost without recording them. These aren't necessarily to share, but to help me better understand things. Usually, that means recording factual information. Getting the phone out and snapping a photo of that number, address, or whatever else quickly moving by takes far more time than absorbing the information as fully as I can and then writing it down on paper at my leisure. Quite often, the thing I wanted to record is long gone and the picture ends up blurry and illegible anyway. Worse, I would have had plenty of time to remember the details if I had just looked at it instead of taking the photo.
My handwriting is terrible. Part of that is the rush to get my thoughts on paper, but it's also that I've had juvenile arthritis since the age of 12. Writing at-length can be awkward and sometimes painful. Still, it's the most effective way to record details for my purposes.
It's not that I've gotten used to the pain. You don't really get used to pain. It's just the pain is there and a part of my life so I learned to keep it around like the slightly bitter aftertaste when I use too much Rosemary in my cooking. I think there really is a difference between coping and accepting when all the details of a circumstance are examined.
Bit by bit, I've also been learning to draw again. I used to be more proflific in the past, but work has kept me from taking the time to focus on the basics. There's a great tutorial series by Alphonso Dunn on YouTube that I've been watching and it has really helped me. I've also been drawing in my notes as I take them and that helps with details too.
I've been practicing to remember more details as I see them so I can take my time writing them down. The slower speed has noticably improved my handwriting. I've also been slowing down other actions to improve quality rather than speed and frequency of execution.