I gave away an old Rolodex yesterday, but before I did I purged the cards that I had used. Time out: for those of you who don’t know what a Rolodex is, it is a large round clunky phone book. Not really a book per se, it has blank cards for you to write phone numbers on. The clunky apparatus rolls around when you twirl the knob, landing on the alphabet you seek.

Time in: I had the Rolodex when I was in business for myself 20 years ago. The numbers in it were extremely valuable, because they were my business contacts, professional associates, and a few friends I met at the time who handed me a business card. Instead of rewriting a number from a business card, I would simply tape it to the Rolodex card.

Now for the significance of all of that. As I purged my cards, to clear the Rolodex, I didn’t remember most of those people.

As I purged the letter “A” section, I found myself asking, “Who was that? When did I meet that person?” Guess I should have put dates on the cards, but who knew at the time that I would forget those folks?

By the time I got to the D-section, I vaguely remembered some of those people, but a few had died. I twirled on to the middle of the alphabet. No recollection what so ever of people listed there! How could that be? These people were vital contacts in my business!

Twirling on to the end of the alphabet, I found a few personal friends who had given me their work phone number and address. Most of them are currently working other jobs or have retired. This task of purging the Rolodex was a trip down memory lane…except I didn’t remember much. No, I am not experiencing Alzheimer’s! That would interfere with my daily activities and I am doing just fine!

By the time I had pulled out all of my cards, there was only one person in my Rolodex who I am still in contact with and who has the same contact information as she did 20 years ago! This experience taught me several things:

if people are important, stay in touch with them…or their memory will likely fade

purge phone books, SIM cards, and other data more often than every 20 years

– update numbers…and I have to be sure that I send current info to people who  matter  so I am not one of the forgotten

Here is the most important lesson….life moves on!

That Rolodex has been in my closet for two decades, but thank goodness I have moved on! Perhaps that is why I don’t remember the people. If they can stay in my closet for 20 years without my missing them, they were indeed a part of my past! And in my case, past means faded or forgotten!




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