I forgot what I was supposed to remember

By Glynis M. Belec in Sugar & Spice

Seriously there are days I think I must have had a frontal lobotomy, but someone didn’t tell me.

I forget stuff. All the time. I walk from one room to the next, and then forget what I went there for in the first place. And that’s not the worst of it. Not only do I forget stuff, when I realize I’ve forgotten what I went there for, I start talking to myself. Sometimes it’s a two-way conversation. That one is really scary, because then I laugh at my own jokes or foolishness. It’s a wonder my dear, happy hubby still comes home each evening.

Yes, he’s caught me on the odd occasion, usually at the laughing, foolish stage. He’s given up looking to see if there is anyone else in the room. He knows. Little did he know, thirty-nine years ago, though, that the fine print on the wedding license included not only “In sickness and in health.” Ours had a footnote: *this agreement also includes a warning to the groom to be prepared to look beyond peculiar behaviours such as talking to self, absent-mindedness and inappropriate laughter—even when she’s alone.

There was no escape clause.

But back to my problem.  For the life of me I have no idea why I am not as skinny as a rail. I try to find the positivity in forgetfulness. Of course. I thought I had. Exercise. With all that running all over the place forgetting and retracing steps, up and down the stairs, racking my brain, trying to recall why I was there, making two or three trips that should have been one, I must cover about 30 acres a day and 5,000 steps – and that’s just inside my house.

I’ve considered getting one of those Fitbit thingies that seem to be all the rage these days. Then I would know how many steps I take in a day and would feel better about forgetting because I would be focusing on the positive.

But then again, what good will all that knowing do me? The more I think of it, the less it appeals to me, because I know what will happen. I am thinking that this magic piece of technology will need re-charging. That means I have to remember to do that and I have to remember to put it on in the morning. If I forget, then I will get frustrated, and then I will get tense. When I get tense I become distracted, and when I get distracted then, sad to say, I forget stuff. So no, forget the Fitbit (that won’t be hard for me, the forgetting part, that is).

Maybe it’s a taste of my own medicine. I remember my mum used to say things like, “Wait until you’re my age.” “Stop laughing at me. You’ll be forgetful like me one day.”

I vowed that I wouldn’t. But now I am. Mum was right.

I was commiserating with my friend one day about the concern I was feeling about my seemingly addled brain. I had lost my car keys—again. The extra trips up and down the stairs looking for them that day had increased my appetite, so all those calories burned looking for the dratted things was for naught. So there was not even a positive to be found that day.

“I think I am losing my mind,” I told her.

“Nope. You’re not losing your mind.” She smiled knowingly at me (she’s got four years on me).

“But this is the third time this week I have lost my keys!”

“If you forget what the keys are for then you are losing your mind. As long as you have only misplaced your keys, then you’re not so bad off.”

I think I felt a tad better.

And if friends aren’t around to encourage me, there is always Google. Google never lies.

Look what I found: 7 Tricks to Help You Remember Anything (from americanexpress.com).

1. Convert words to pictures. (So I should draw a picture of what it is I am going to get from the other room?)

2. Use memory spots. (I don’t know what that means but if one more person asks me ‘where I had it or saw it last’, I might hiss at them. If I had that answer ‘it’ wouldn’t be lost!)

3. Stacking. (I’ve tried stacking Lego blocks. Doesn’t work)

4. Use rhymes. (There once was a girl who forgot, She did it each day quite a lot. Her fingers got sore, as she tried just once more, to remember to untie the knot! Um nope. Not helping)

5. Use mnemonic devices. (Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers. Shoot—I forgot to buy peppers today, Hey. It’s starting to work)

6. Work specifically on names. (My name is Glynis M. Belec—look at me go!)

7. Use pictorial storage to remember lists of items. (Ha! My kids are always telling me that I need to delete some photos off my phone. See I was right not to listen!)

Thanks, Google.  I do believe I am on the road to recovery. Stay tuned. I think I am starting to visualize my keys…