I spend a good proportion of my working days designing infographics. They’re a great story-telling aid, because they can communicate a truckload of information in a highly digestible format. I’ve had some success with them too, professionally.
I had never thought to apply my infographic skills to myself though, until the psychiatrist suggested it. So I’ve spent the past couple of weekends putting together a summary picture of my life.
For a change, I have the data to hand and frankly, it doesn’t matter if it’s right anyway because the purpose is to communicate my perception of history rather than history.
It’s proving an engaging exercise. There’s not much of particular interest in the straightforward timeline of events, but it’s recalling all the other things I was doing when I was living or working or studying somewhere that has been a salutary reminder of my erstwhile range of interests and activities. Realising that they’re all in the past and questioning why is largely the point of the exercise I expect. (I’ve been tempted to title the graphic “My Formerly Interesting Life” except psychs take that kind of thing literally and you spend the whole session talking about how you feel about that.)
There are a lot of activities I’ve enjoyed in the past that I have no wish to do again: rock climbing, soccer, hockey, pottery class. There are some (skiing, for one) that would be difficult to take up again, given I don’t live close to the mountains any more and I’ve acquired a tricky knee injury in the intervening years. But there are a lot of other activities on the list that I’d still like to do but don’t. And I’ve stopped doing them mainly because I’ve stopped making the effort.
That would seem like a fairly easy thing to fix: just start making the effort.