Thursday, April 19, 2012

Like the Corner of My Mind... the corner of my mind. Misty, watercolored meeeemories....


In my early-middle age, my memory is not so great. I often forget why I walked into a room in the first place. Sometimes I meet someone or get semi-important information and forget the name and info within ten minutes finishing the conversation. I used to blame it on pregnancy and then baby brain, but now that the kiddos are both out of diapers, I feel this is no longer a viable excuse.

*Sigh* A few years ago, I was so worried about this. I thought it was the early onset of Alzheimer's. SO, I learned how to knit. I thought, "If I just get my brain moving in a new direction it will help." I hasn't, but now my kids' teachers get really cool scarves for their Christmas gifts and I'll never have to buy another washcloth for as long as I live. So BONUS!

I really DO try to listen, I just don't have a great memory when I hear something. I think this comes from teaching thousands of students (over 500 a year), attending too many meetings, and basically passing through a lot of information that needs to be remembered for the time, but then has to be let go to make room for the next batch.

BUT, show me a painting and I'll remember it always. Sing me a song and I'll hum it seven years later. Word of mouth just doesn't stick sometimes, I have to see in front of me or actually write it down. It has always been this way. I remember having to learn the introduction to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to the tune of Rocky Top for my senior English class. I can still say every word with an almost-perfect English accent.

And in college, Art History classes changed my whole perspective. I totally GOT history when I saw what was going on in the art world at the time. It made so much sense to me that I actually picked up a double major in History, but I literally had to see it through the artists of the time's eyes to believe it.

I've come to the conclusion that I just have to make a solid or somewhat cheesier connection to remember.  There's a lot of input in our busy, Internet-overloaded, and hurried society. Sometimes there's so much junk out there that gets stuck in our heads, there's no room for the good stuff and the needed stuff.

Many times I find myself yearning for simpler times and rotary phones. I used to know like 50 phone numbers,  and now? It's closer to nada! ZIP! But those numbers that I knew from the days of yore are still there because I had to perform an action to get a result. Now I just have to hold down a key for speed dial. There's the difference, but where's the time to make up a little rhyme or jingle to remember the pertinent info? 

So, here I sit before you...  a stack of lists to my left and my right hand marked up with the items that must take first priority(yes, I am aware that ink can poison me). It's the system that works for me. Sometimes it works too well. Yesterday I went to the hospital where I was going to pay a bill from the emergency room. BLARH!          Buuuuut.... I had forgotten and already paid it!

Record keeping! Memory? Who needs it! Sometimes I'm truly grateful for the little memory losses that bring an unexpected smile to my lips (and sometimes extra cash in my bank account)!

Cheers to all those with whom I've made the happy memories,
May they be bright enough to block out the shadows from others.