I was recently at an event with my daughter. The task was to bring a family relic and share that story with other attendees. We submitted my grandfather's birth certificate. On that single page was a ton of information and stories. He was born Gershon Waronev, not Harry Verona. It listed his parents (Solomon and Greta), where they came from (Russia), Solomon’s profession (tailor), where they lived (50 Market Street on the Lower East Side), and siblings (2, I had never met). You see, my grandfather's parents died when he was very young and his extended family couldn’t/wouldn’t take him in. He spent his entire youth in the NYC Foster Care System. Upon sharing the story of the relic with the leader of the group she asked, “Was he bitter, hardened in any way?” I began tearing up like a baby. Lastly, my daughter brought me to my knees when she summarized the meaning of the relic by saying he loved and cherished his family because he didn’t have his own. Wow.
This story of my grandfather is but one example of a story that is difficult to piece together now that many/most of the players are no longer with us. The truth is that our shared stories are typically what binds us together, whether it is the story of Exodus, The American Revolution, Rosa Parks, or even my grandfather's childhood. There needs to be a way to create one's very own Wiki page which includes contributions from others with relevant knowledge. Have no fear; I am working on this problem now as there is no great solution that I have found. Nonetheless, I dedicate this week's Loupe to memory, things that positively and negatively impact it!
Alcohol affects different people differently, but often it can lead to short term memory lapses or even longer-term memory issues at the extreme. I enjoy a drink as much an anyone else. Reluctantly (on my end), my kids are entering the age of experimentation. Therefore I need the proper tools to judge myself (drive?) or when my kids are lying to me! Obviously, with Uber, I don’t need to drive much anymore when I plan on drinking. However, it is nice to know where I stand, and how efficient my body is at metabolizing alcohol. For my teenagers, it is actually an incredible tool that will tell me hands down what they have been up to. It hooks up to an app so that you can remember those drinking nights down to the decimal point!
The Five Minute Journal
I have written about it before, and I will write about it again; The Five Minute Journal is my answer to forgetfulness. From the time I downloaded in June 2016 (!!!), I journaled every day of the week. After seeing how useful this Journal is, I am disappointed that I missed any day and won't let it happen again. This app prompts you in the morning with a question, "What will I (you) do to make today great?" This simple question allows you the opportunity to organize your thoughts about things you want to do versus things you have to do (hmmm, imagine that). In the evening, it prompts you to write down those amazing things that you did, as well as asks the question, "How could I (you) have made today even better?" Sounds a bit hokey, but it will challenge you to be accountable for your present and your future! Further, it prompts you to add a single image for the day. It is the combination of images and the stories that prompt your memory. In fact, when my wife challenged me with "What did you do special for my birthday?" I was ready with a counter!
Interview with Jeff Lewis, Founder of The American Flag Football League (AFFL)
For our third installment of The Loupe Interview Series, we meet Jeff Lewis. He is a former Wall Streeter who left it all behind to pursue his vision of a professional flag football league, rivaling the NFL. As many of you may know I played 4 years of Division I AA football in college, and I love flag football. The concussion issue is real and likely impacted my memory, just ask my wife. Thankfully flag football mostly eliminates that brain risk, as well as most other injuries for that matter. It solves a pressing labor issue as it draws from a slightly different talent pool and is truly an exciting game format. Listen to what Jeff has to say in light of the recently established and folding AAF league.