November 29, 2016

Forgetfulness Is a State of Mind

This past weekend, as I was unpacking Christmas ornaments, I came upon a gift—a pen set—I had bought Kate more than a year and a half ago. I’m forever putting things away in secret places where I “won’t forget”. I searched the house again and again and could not find it for the life of me. I wondered if I had packed it in a box, threw it away(!), or never ordered it to begin with. I finally gave up and ordered another so she would have it Christmas morning.

But over a year later, there it sat. Tucked in a drawer with other Christmas decorations. Practically in plain sight. Mocking me.

I am forever forgetting where I placed my glasses (they’re often on my head) and who I told the latest family information—daughter number one or daughter number two? I’d wager I repeat myself about 75% of the time. “Mom! You already told me this.” “Right, right. I need to tell your sister.” All perfectly normal, I’m told repeatedly by friends and family who have gone through the same bouts of forgetfulness. All perfectly normal, I’m told repeatedly by my doctor. After all, I’m of “that age”.

I pride myself in keeping my brain sharp. I read and write and want to know things. I can recite 70s song lyrics on a dime. Remember the exact measurements of a recipe I haven’t cooked in a while. Recall childhood memories that are more than four decades old. But sometimes, David will ask me if I remember something, and I’m at a complete loss.

I know this is all a trick. Some twisted karmic game someone is playing just to keep me on my toes.

I don’t think it’s very funny. Well, sometimes I do. Thankfully I can laugh at myself as I look in the mirror—my face a bit droopier, the crow’s feet more pronounced—and I laugh at the person in the mirror. “Still got my sense of humor.” Joy.

So, the next time I wander into a room and then stand there wondering why on earth I’ve gone into the room in the first place, or try to give a name to the doohickey I’m holding in my hand, I’ll remember this: 1) The second half of my life is supposed to be better than the first half. I’ll keep you posted. 2) I know more stuff, of course my floppy disk is full. (Oops, hard drive.) 3) I don’t have to remember everything. That’s what Google is for. 4) I can use cheat sheets—i.e. the notes app on my phone. 5) I’ll relish in selective memory by tossing out all the bad stuff. 6) And I’ll keep reading, writing, and learning as long as the information will stick.

That's all I can remember for now.

 P.S. You may also like Life in My 40s, Hormones!, and I'm Not Ready.


Anonymous said...

You hit this one! Ugh - it drives me crazy when I can't think of the name of something or someone. IT'S ON THE TIP OF MY TONGUE, and nothing. Zilch! I'm a firm believer in aging backwards Benjamin Button style!


Anonymous said...

If I could only remember what I wanted to say! Seriously, this was funny and so true.