The List

The last few years have certainly been good to me. In fact, I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a lot of interesting experiences over the course of my life. But over time I’ve found that the memories fade and it can be hard to remember the highlights as they sink into the past.

To combat this effect (and provide a pick-me-up when I feel like I’m in a rut), a few years ago I started keeping a list of highlights of each year.  For each month, I list cool things that I’ve done or plan to do, from traveling to hosting visitors to big accomplishments. Basically anything that’s worth having a reminder about to rekindle the memories.

Beyond having a simple record of life events, big and small, this process helps me plan ahead. I start a new version at the beginning of the year and try to fill in the adventures already in the works. The goal is always to have at least 3 things for every month that are worth remembering, whether it be a new experience, a trip, or even a particularly fun time with friends.

It’s fun looking back at old lists and recalling the memories. Over time the lists become a record of what my life was like during each year, from times I was going to a lot of conferences or visiting Brian frequently. To keep up the streak, I’m doing the same thing for 2014. Here’s what it’s looking like so far.


  1. New Year’s with the familia, con snow!
  2. Australia Day party (a new tradition in the making)
  3. JSG research symposium


  1. Short course in Houston
  2. First meeting of my qualifying committee
  3. New roommate!


  1. Road trip!!


  1. SIAM meeting in Savannah

3 thoughts on “The List

  1. Great idea, Gail. I have a poor memory, too; one thing I do is save old wall calendars and/or datebooks so I can look back on my year. Haven’t tried planning the year ahead yet, except in the most rudimentary ways. Now Ed, on the other hand, has all his golf trips mapped out from now to December!


  2. Great Idea! Even better than a daily diary. Keep up what the last few years have brought and you will habe a book to publish in future years!


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