Monday, August 31, 2009

Take a memo

There was a time in my life when I remembered EVERYTHING. I did not need a calendar to keep appointments. Or to know when someone was celebrating a birthday. Or to remind myself to meet friends at the movies.

My memory skills even made it possible for me to take the most cryptic of notes in my classes. I heard it and I knew it. I wrote it down. I never seemed to forget it.

And then it all changed.

My brain is like a sieve. I have to make lists. But not only do I have to write things down. I have to make sure that list is front and center. Or I will surely forget what I am supposed to do.

I have all kinds of notations on my calendar. Birthdays. But I never remember to send a card. Appointments. Appointments I might even recall in the morning. But I still might get a call at 4pm from the dentist wanting to know why I am not there with my child.

And there are events and conversations. That my husband swears that we have had. That I have no memory of at all. Of movies that we have seen. Comments I have made. Maybe none of it happened. And he is just messing with me. It seems rather unfair. Since he is the one with the brain injury.

And then. There are the things that do work. I have an internal GPS. I know where to turn. The names of the roads. And how to reverse it all to get home.

I can remember the most useless of information. All kinds of trivial fluff. But. I have no idea why I might know these things. And I can't even give you examples. Because I have forgotten.

I can remember the Latin that I learned in high school. I never took a Latin class in college. I didn't major in it. Yet I still remember it all. Remember it well enough to be entering into my fifth year of teaching high school Latin to homeschoolers.

I can remember stories that my friends wish I would forget.

Scary.

So...what about you? How is your memory? Are you a list maker? Are you forgetful? Or is this just me?

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25 comments:

Elena said...

I could just say ditto to this entire post (w/o the Latin bit)! What is wrong with our brains???

Becky P said...

It's called HAVING CHILDREN! I used to be so good at birthdays, sending cards, etc. But my problem is, I don't use a calendar either so I'm in really bad shape. I can usually remember school functions but that's about it. I really need to get better at writing things down.

Tam said...

Bad Memory here! I make tons of lists but I keep loosing them. At least YOU have your GPS thingy going on because I get lost picking the kiddo up from school!

wordwarrior said...

Losing my "iron clad grip," on my memory had me so upset at one point I went to a neurologist to be tested for Alzheimer's. Turns out they don't really test for it until it is too late to do much about it. My mom had Alzheimer's.

There is currently a book out called, Carved in Sand: "When Attention Fails and Memory fade in Midlife," by Cathyrn Jakobson Ramin. I have it checked out from Gwinnett library. I will try not to forget to return it on time. So far, it offers some excellent advice on taking care of your neurons and stockpiling the cognitive resources you already have.

Now let's see...what was I doing before I got distracted here?

texcindy said...

I REMEMBER when you could never forget anything. ever. and I think I was the same way. And I have NO IDEA why this changed. The other thing I remember thinking from that time a few decades ago is that, we knew at the time, for certain, that we would always REMEMBER everything and it was other people who would forget. WE were never going to forget stuff. ever.
and then we did.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

My explanation is that my brain is too full of the lyrics to pretty much every song from 1980-1990 to leave room for anything to remember.

Blarney said...

Live by the daily list! Unfortunately, actually getting everything done on the list is another issue. I currently have 13 things on my list yet only one done and blogging is not one of the list items. Ugh!

Gina said...

I'm going to guess that it all started when you were pregnant with Katie and progressed from there....

I say there are 2 kinds of pregnant brain. They are both Swiss cheese, but one is the kind with big holes. You remember lots of stuff- and then suddenly you are missing a whole day.
The other is the kind with lots of tiny holes. Granted, you don't miss whole days, but there is no area of life that doesn't have some sort of niggly little hole in it.

Yeah, I'm the second kind of Swiss cheese.

Jen said...

My memory is terrible. I blame the children. During pregnancy I lost it and it never came back.

Karen said...

My memory used to be like a steel trap, but I've noticed since becoming a parent it's become a sieve. I think it has a lot to do with having to juggle so much and constantly multi-tasking. Sad...

Jennifer P. said...

I have a freaky elephant brain that remembers names, faces, stories told, lines to movies, song lyrics, and history. It does not, however, even remember how to get to my own grandma's house without googling directions (seriously!). So I'd take that internal GPS of yours any day!

Gramma 2 Many said...

Memory? What memory? If I remember to make a list, I most certainly forget to take it.
I tell the kids I will do something for them and remind them they have to call and remind me. When the do, I have no memory of ever telling them I would do it!

Heather said...

I am such a list maker. And I remember tons of stuff from my childhood. Yesterday? Not so much.

You are not alone. Don't fret.

Susie said...

I am the queen of the To Do list because I would forget my head if it weren't attached. However, I am really good with names. Go figure:-)

Practically Perfect... said...

I am SUCH a list maker. My list is my brain, and if I lose my list, I'm in deep trouble!

Michelle said...

Oh I used to be so good. I knew EVERYthing (and yes, I thought that, too, at one time). I still keep a lot in my head, but since kids... it's all downhill. I actually had to run to the village hall this pm to pay the water bill that was due today because I'd forgotten until (literally) the last hour. And I love lists. I love adding items to lists that I've already completed just so I can cross them off. Sad, isn't it?

Wendy Hawksley said...

My sister likes to say it is "Mommy Brain", and that it is a permanent condition - not one that disappears after the diapers do.

But she has 4 children.

For me, it depends. If something is an optical illusion (say, underpants of a solid color), then I might tend to forget which way to put it (I seem to always end up wearing a certain pair inside out).

Say I've got too much to do in the day or quite a bit I want to remember?

Yes. To-Do lists get made on THOSE days. Not always.

Most of the time I can wake up and know that I need to wash dishes, homeschool, run a specific errand...

But it is when I let things sort of pile up and get neglected that I run into the need for lists.

Linda said...

After I just read everyone else's comments I totally forgot what I was going to write! LOL Does that give you an insight into my memory? Yeah, I'm right there with ya. I remember the useless trivia crap, and song lyrics and exact details from my childhood. But don't ask me to recall any events I just put on my calendar or what I just walked into this room to retrieve. Yes, I blame it all on my kids cuz that's when it started!

Lula! said...

Scott says I have a mind like a steel trap...but lately, that trap is opening a bit too much...

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

I used to put post its on my dashboard or my steering wheel to remember things. Post it's are my very best friend. (That should tell you something about my memory.)

Mariah said...

My memory is a mess, sometimes I remember the oddest things, things that really don't matter and then I forget the important stuff that DOES matter.

Jill said...

I hear ya sister! Tho I love lists.... lots and lots of lists! :)

Tam said...

Have you pre ordered Echo in the Bone? Sept. 22 is the release!

Rhea said...

I LOVE to make lists...and to cross things off. I can't function without lists. And calendars. I have one calendar at home on my bedroom wall, one at work on the wall and one in an organizer that I carry back and forth...

and I can still forget things.
Yep.

Angie's Spot said...

I used to have a GREAT memory, that is, until I started having kids. Now, I'm doing well to remember to take the kids to school each day. If it's not in my dayrunner, then it doesn't happen. And list maker...well, look it up in the dictionary and you'll see my picture.