Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I once heard who invented “sticky notes” and how it was serendipitous. I don’t remember their name but I wish them a wonderful life.

The little colored stacks make my life possible. Phone numbers, to do reminders, cook book markers, quotes of our residents (“I must be a pain that a pill can’t reach”), an art print at Fred Hutchinson cancer research (“Whale Huggers” by Don McMichael), and the list goes on.

I can see at least 7 sticky notes littering my desk. There are probably more in my basket of business cards—massage, dentist, publishing house editors, plumbers.

I’ve been using a yellow pad for a month or two. One hot pink sticky note is buried under my current priority pile. It gives me a phone number and name, but no context. It will stay under the pile until I conjure up the courage to call the number and admit I don’t remember who or why.

Routine is important to maintain sanity. But the exceptions give our routines flavor and texture. They color our communications with alternatives and differences. They suggest “what if?” and other curious opportunities. The little sticky notes are cheerful carriers.

Until we really don’t remember. We no longer see the lineup of sticky notes on the refrigerator or our bathroom mirror. And if we do notice, we don’t know what they mean. They haven’t just become part of the landscape. We really don’t understand the words.

When Geraldine first moved to Adagio and asked her relative why she was being punished, the answer was delusional.

"I wrote you sticky notes but you took them down and threw them away."

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