the discipline of remembering

Mood doesn’t seem to have a long-term memory. Neither does it seem to have a way of balancing itself in and through time. Mood is apparently completely determined by the most recent activity, set of circumstances and consequent feelings.

The other morning, between preparing breakfasts, emptying and loading the dishwasher, getting girls’ beds made and hair fixed (acceptably to them) and teeth brushed, between getting girls dressed (acceptably to them and me!) and making lunches and packing bags and getting myself ready to go to work after dropping girls off at school, I actually had a few moments to linger over coffee with a book at breakfast. It was lovely. But the last fifteen minutes before the girls had to be at school were hectic and rushed, frustrating and chaotic, and that was therefore the mood upon leaving the house and upon getting to work—never mind those lovely moments with book and coffee I remember.

On my day off the other week, I read a book at the bookstore—something I love to do. Went in to browse, found a book in which I was interested—sat down and read it. Lost track of time, didn’t make it to the gym, and so ended up disappointed—frustrated at what had not happened rather than elated at having had the opportunity to do something I so very rarely get to do.

Sometimes, the discipline of remembering doesn’t have that much at all to do with having forgotten anything, but with having dismissed its significance in relation to more recent events. Sometimes, the discipline of remembering is about balancing. Sometimes, the discipline of remembering is about the possibility of transforming mood. Good to remember ….

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