Memory

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This morning, like almost every morning, I looked through the pages in my date book, to review what I have to do this week. I noted the days and hours I have to work. I’ve recently added a new part time job to my schedule, and my days at the hardware store have changed. That has forced a change in the day that I volunteer at the re-sale shop. It’s wise to have it all written down, so that I know where and when to show up.

I copied a note to myself about ordering Christmas cards onto a post-it note. I stuck it onto the computer, so that I’ll remember to actually do it, before the season is over. For tomorrow, I wrote a reminder to call the pharmacy to refill my prescriptions. and to call the County Clerk regarding my property taxes. I added a line about filling out the paperwork for house insurance. The forms have been sitting on the table for a week, now, after I finally remembered to download and print them. Insurance and property taxes used to be held in an escrow account; that changed when I paid off my mortgage. Two more things I have to remember to deal with!

Remembering hasn’t always been such a struggle for me. I have, in fact, always taken pride in my good memory. I could memorize a string of historical facts, numbers, or dates quite easily. I could recite long pages of poetry or prose without having to refer to the printed pages. I kept whole lists of telephone numbers in my head; as well as a string of important addresses. Not anymore!

For a long time, I was the one to come to for family history, or to get our childhood memories straight. Lately, I’m not so sure. I still think I remember, but sometimes I have doubts. I find myself saying, “I believe so,” or, “that might be the way it happened.” I’m just not sure.

Standing in the kitchen one day, surrounded by my dogs, I noticed something on the floor. I reached down, picked it up, showed it to the dogs, identified it, “guitar pick,” and put in on the shelf. At two o’clock in the morning, I woke up to the troubling realization that I had it wrong. As I sat up, and the dogs stirred, I told them, “that wasn’t a guitar pick; it’s a golf tee!”

I tell this story often. I think it’s an almost perfect self-deprecating anecdote. It touches on my fading memory combined with very old-lady-ish conversing with the dogs. It makes me smile, and it usually gets a laugh. It’s a good illustration of the tricks the mind plays as I get older. The truest example, though, comes when I tell this story, and I see a particular look on the face of whoever I’m talking to, that’s lets me know they have heard it before. And I forgot that I already told it to them.

Maybe I’ve already told it here, too. It could be that you’re reading it for the second or third time, politely pushing through with a slight, knowing smile as your eyes glaze over with boredom. It’s possible. I just don’t remember!

About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

5 responses »

    • I think memory is a lot like knick-knacks. By the time we reach a certain age, there is quite an accumulation. No more will fit! I can beg my children to only gift me with things I will use up, there are few good memories that I am willing to let go, to make room for the new stuff! Thanks for reading, Kathy, and for your comments!

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Cindy. We think we are the only ones who have memory problems, but whenever I tell any of my friends of something I forgotten they laugh and say join the club.

      • No baby boomer here. I am an aged lady. My two children of baby boomers. But at 83 maybe I can be forgiven for forgetting why I went into a particular room, or that word I was going to use. Take care

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