Thursday 12 November 2015

The FLYN System—A Bandaid Solution

(First published in Island Parent Magazine Resource Guide, October 2015)

My father has a great memory but, for some things, he staunchly refuses to use it. Instead, he writes copious notes about things he worries might be too complicated to remember—from booting up his computer to resetting the furnace. When I was young, these notes would be written on yellow legal sheets and taped to the various objects to which they pertained. He had a scribble-pad at his office desk, and another on the end table beside his easy chair, in front of the TV.

As life progressed and technology got more complex, my father also moved forward. He upgraded from yellow lined sheets to little yellow sticky notes. He bought a home theater system about a year ago and now it's just about impossible to pick up his remote without getting a paper cut. If you visit his house and he wants to make sure you don't forget something, my father, who assumes that every mind works like his, will stick a FLYN to your glasses, or even your forehead. I hate being labeled. "Before being seen in public, remove sticky from forehead," I once wrote on my hand.

A close friend, who always disliked Dad's clutter of Little Yellow Notes, dubbed this the FLYN system. I leave it to you to figure out what the 'F' stands for.

Darth Vader would have been much scarier if he'd said, "Luc, you're just like your father!" None of us want to become our parents, but eventually, the inner child recedes and that inner parent leaks out. And, one day, we find ourselves telling our own kids to stop arguing or so help us God "we're going to turn this car around," and we realize that life and karma have conspired to make us clones of our parents.

I never subscribed to my father's FLYN system. I decided early on to rely on my memory. Then I had children and in the confusion, forgot where I left my memory. Technology saved me. My smart phone has a note making function which I've come to depend on to make sure that I don't forget to tie my shoes, or remove my glasses before bed. But now, my phone is so full of reminders that it often seems more convenient to fight to recall something, rather than sort through the various notes. Also, that 'TO DO' list is depressingly long.

Today, I was surprised to catch myself pasting a little yellow sticky note to the front of my phone. But the larger shock was to realize that this is not an isolated incident. It's a habit. I once had a note on there so long that the adhesive lost its 'stick.' I had choices: I could have completed the task, written a new FLYN, or added the note to the electronic collection on my phone. Instead, I used scotch tape to stick it back on.

Resistance is futile.

What my future looks like.
There are certain precautions one must take when employing the FLYN system.

On a more serious note... 
check out my time travel action-adventure/literary novel

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