I think the most annoying thing I’m going through right now is forgetting. I always knew it would become a problem when I was older. But I thought older older! But come to think of it, I remember my mother complaining about her memory [or lack of it] starting when she was around fifty. I distinctly remember the day she turned. We were going up through the underpass in Evanston and I said in all of my seventeen-year-old wisdom, “Wow, you’re half a century.”
She would laugh about forgetting where she left her glasses, or the car keys or a book she was in the middle of. She would forget her friend’s name or which kid she needed to pick up from which event or practice. [Or she’d forget us all together and we’d have to catch a ride.] She’d laugh and her belly would jiggle and a tear would escape from her right eye. And we’d say, “Oh Mom, don’t worry about it. We love you just the way you are.” She’d call us to remember the family temple day only to find out she had called the week before. Many years later when we’d watch Jeopardy with her we’d laugh because she’d answer every question a split second after the contestants answered correctly. She’d repeat herself several times a day and we’d kindly say, “Yah, I remember you told me that,” and she’d be embarrassed and say “I did? I don’t remember telling you that! [She’d laugh] I guess I forgot.”
I have become my very own mother.
When I started becoming forgetful she would always try to make it easier for me. She would say sweet things like, “You know how a computer gets full. Well you are the same way. You are so smart your brain is full and over flowing. Sometimes it’s hard to find space for even one more important thing. Don’t worry. You’ll de-frag and find room for it soon enough.” So sweet. Nothing like what I was saying to myself: “You forgetful moron!”
The thing that drives me nuts the most is when I think I have forgotten something and it turns out that I really haven’t. Say I need to change the paper towel roll in the girls commons restroom. I head in there with my screw driver [because the closure broke and I’m too cheap to replace a perfectly good paper towel dispenser when it has year’s of good left in it . . . when I can just put in a nice long screw!] and unscrew the whole contraption only to find out [and aha! remember] I did that about an hour ago! Or I run downstairs to fluff up the whites in the dryer and when I go to get them ten minutes later I open the door and realize I already folded that batch and put them away yesterday.
I hate when I get in the car and head somewhere only to find out that I have forgotten where I’m going. One day I thought, OK, I’ll just keep driving and I’m sure I’ll remember somewhere along the way. After driving for about five minutes and not remembering, I went back to the high school and back to work. A few minutes later I remembered I needed to get my scraper out of the car and that’s why I went out there in the first place.
I especially hate doing stuff like this when someone else is around. Most of my work day is choreographed to be by myself. Sure there are students and secretaries, teachers, and aids all over the place but I don’t have to interact with them if I choose. Or if I do, it can be on a completely superficial bases. I can go about my day cleaning up, getting ready for assemblies, getting the mail and freight, setting up for lunch, etc, with a minimum of actual deep conversation. Oh I have conversations but I don’t have to divulge [and most co-workers don’t notice] that I just forgot what the heck I was in the middle of doing.
To get by I make lists. I make up a little song with things in alphabetical [of course] order: mop bucket, rags, toilet paper, window spray. Or I’ll use mnemonics. Or acronyms. I do sudoku puzzles every single day to exercise my cerebral muscles.
I don’t remember why I started this post, but I do realize I’m at the end of it.
So, I’m heading to the sudoku book.
Let’s see now. Breakfast, exercise, shower, vitamins.