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Blast From the Past: Trying to Keep a Calendar in the Trump Era


Do you feel like the future can't happen fast enough, but the past can be hard to remember?

I was trying to remember when I had my last dental checkup, because it felt like months had passed since my last one. My last checkup was in...January? I must be due for another visit.

So I called my dentist to put it on my calendar. "I see that your last cleaning was in March," the dental assistant said cheerily. "We'll see you again in September!"

Wait a minute here. My last cleaning was ONLY eight weeks ago? Really? I apologized for bothering her, thanked her, and ended the call.

I stood there, looking at my Big Family Calendar (the paper kind). The Washington D.C. winter did linger into April this year, but how could I have gotten this so wrong? I pride myself on running on schedule, and remembering dates and time frames. I'm the one in the family who remembers these things! We're all in trouble now.

Running on Trump Time
If you feel like the future is slow and the past is fast, then you're not alone. What happened eight weeks ago can sometimes feel like it happened five months ago. Didn't it? Like Matthew McConaughey drifting through the tesseract in the movie Interstellar, these are the days of our lives.

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I really do think Trump is messing with our sense of time, bigly. At first, I thought it was just me. I'm a news junkie, so I live in the zone were Trump news is breaking on the hour. Things move fast, yet the details remain largely the same. Perhaps it makes sense that the past would congeal into a thick, soupy fog of events after awhile?


Then I raised the topic with random people by saying (jokingly) that what happened last week can sometimes feel like it happened last month, to which they nodded and chuckled and said: "Yeah, I know what you mean! I get all kinds of turned around lately when I think back in time." I'm taking my non-scientific survey of seven and running with it, because this time management problem is bugging the hell out of me.

When Last Week Feels Like Last Month
For working professionals, the past stored in their Google calendars could be a virtual minefield that leads to awkward interactions in the Trump era. What should you do when you're talking to a client and blurt out, "How are you doing? It's been months since I've seen you," to which the client responds, "Didn't I see you three weeks ago?"

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No, you're not developing early dementia, or having a "senior moment". You're trying to keep a calendar during the Trump administration.

The key, I'm discovering, is to second-guess my own perception of time and space when rehashing the past. In these crazy times, the past can feel like a time warp. Am I sure it happened three months ago, or did it happen three weeks ago? Sometimes, the answer is obvious but sometimes I have to double check. In the Trump era, I don't think the past is prologue so much as it's just plain perplexing on occasion.

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My advice, assuming it's worth anything at this point? For starters, think twice before uttering, "It was nice seeing you a few weeks ago." Instead, give yourself some wiggle room by saying, "It was nice seeing you...awhile back." You know, just be to be safe. Write things down on the calendar, too. Even the small things you think you'll remember.

Einstein theorized in his later years that the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously in real time, which would actually help a lot right now for remembering the past. Taking regular breaks from the breaking news cycle would probably help too, but that's not going to happen.


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