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2007 Archive

Memory-Less

May 14, 2007

Iíve been watching a few crime shows lately, and one thing never ceases to amaze me.

ďWhere were you in the afternoon of July tenth, 2004?Ē

ďI was out doing grocery shopping, and here are the receipts to prove it.Ē

Shoot, I couldnít tell you what I was doing on July tenth of last year. I couldnít tell you what I was doing last week. Iím not very sure of what I was doing yesterday.

I set down something and itís lost for a week. Or longer.

I recently forgot a load of my clientís laundry in the community laundry room. ForÖtwo weeks? I donít even know how long it sat in the dryer.

I keep a journal. If I donít write in it dailyÖ Well, itís futile to try to get caught up, unless Iíve left myself exhaustive notes on scratch paper, and, if I have time for that, I might as well just write the entry.

I donít go around bemoaning how much better my memory used to be. My memory isnít that shot that I donít remember that I have always had a lousy memory. Oh, sure, I am good enough at memorizing stuff, but the minute I no longer need it at the forefront of my mind, itís gone. I was an awesome test taker at school, but if you asked me any of those questions now, I highly doubt I could answer them.

But itís not everything, you understand. Itís only the things my mind considers unimportant, like dates and peopleís names and where I set that bill I intended to pay as soon as I washed dishes. I have a phenomenal memory for books and their authors, whether or not Iíve even read the books, and a good memory for songs and singers. I can keep a dozen fairly complex crochet patterns in my head even when I donít use them for a year at a time. I can tell you the color of my very first journal notebook from seventh grade, and I know exactly where it is. I remember trivia I donít remember ever learning. But can I remember where my car is parked? Um, that would be no. I have lost my car so seriously that I almost reported it stolen.

When you have a disability, you just have to learn to work around it. My keys go only in one of two places: the table or my jacket pocket. Specifically, the left jacket pocket. My bills go only in front of my computer where I canít miss themóand thatís only those that I havenít managed to set up for automatic payments. So how can I remember automatic payments? I write them all down after my first paycheck of the month. I can remember that much. Usually. And I park only in certain rows in a parking lot to at least minimize the search area.

Terry Goodkind wrote the Sword of Truth series. Jodi Picoult wrote My Sisterís Keeper, a book I have not read and donít intend to. Don Williams had a hit with ďAmandaĒ years before Waylon Jennings did. My first journal notebook was lime green. Now if I could only remember where I putÖ What was I looking for, now?

5/13/07