👋 Good morning from Los Angeles! I'm Nate Kadlac, and this is Plan Your Next—a Sunday newsletter that connects design, creativity, and how you prepare for your next thing.
💡 What’s new?
🎬 I don’t share this much, but I watch a lot of movies. Too many to be honest. I’m a bit embarrassed at how many I watch during the week, especially while I design. And one of my favorite genres happens to be low-budget sci-fi. If you’re into that, check out The Artifice Girl on Amazon Prime. Spoiler alert, it’s about AI.
Four years of memory loss
Last week we celebrated my daughter Rowan turning two years old.
She is now in a new daycare group with two to three-year-olds. On Friday when my wife picked her up from daycare, she was at the bottom of a slide stacked like an Oreo cookie between her two best friends, Jackson and Bolly.
It’s fun to see her pick up new words like, “space,” when she doesn’t want to be touched or held. Or fascinated with “potty” when we’re using the bathroom.
But here’s what I can’t stop thinking about: Rowan won’t remember a damn thing.
For the next two years, every trip, memory, and interaction will be thrown into the trash bin, like a tossed digital file on my laptop. Never to be accessed again.
Almost every day since Rowan was born, I’ve thought about this. Each time, all these memories are just for us, but not for our daughter.
The trips to Palm Springs, New York, Malibu, and San Francisco won’t exist except for the annual videos that leave us in tears after watching the videos my wife edits for our family.
When I think about my own childhood, my first memory was when I was about four, and I was nauseous from spinning around in an adult-sized teacup at Disney World.
I don’t miss what I don’t know, but participating in a child’s life for four years while we’re the only ones to remember is a strange feeling.
Strangely, this has been another motivation to why I write. To retain the ideas and thoughts that aren’t fully captured in an image or a video clip. God knows we have thousands of those.
It’s also why I periodically write and schedule emails to be sent to my daughter’s email in the future (yes I’ve already picked out her email address) based on my memories.
I’m not sure if there’s a lesson in all of this, other than I feel more obligated to be in the moment now.
Rowan’s experiences are up to me to share later in life. If I miss out or forget them, they’re lost forever.
⚡️ Your next creative hit
✈️ When design can kill: “On October 12, 1997, John Denver, popular folk singer and amateur pilot, at the controls of a newly-purchased experimental aircraft, died after crashing into Monterey Bay, in California. He died in an aircraft that had already done its best to kill two previous pilots, an aircraft with a human interface flaw so fundamental, so profound, that it finally managed to kill.”
Lesson: Don’t place fuel gauges behind the pilot’s left shoulder requiring a mirror to view the tanks, and forcing you to let go of the controls to switch the lever.
🎙️ Convert messy thoughts into clear text*: I am a huge Otter.AI fan. But sifting through a full transcript of a meeting or four-hour-long lecture is not going to happen.
Louis Pereira created a fantastic tool for creative thinkers, utilizing ChatGPT. It’s a simple idea, well executed. Just record your thoughts using the app, and it will send you a cleaned-up, summarized version of it almost instantly. It’s great for shower thoughts or those moments early on when you’re just rambling. *This is an affiliate link
I love the idea of writing emails today to your daughter in the future. Could be valuable to write one to yourself...maybe I’ll do that!
Well said! Though they will have infinite photos of themselves, so will those photos become their memories?