I’m a little frustrated at myself for not jotting down the idea I had earlier for a blog post, because now I can’t remember it at all. I mean, that’s Rule #1 of writing: don’t trust yourself to remember an idea. I am not even busy at work--I stayed home, away from the sawdust, to continue recuperating from a nasty allergy attack--so I have no excuse.
|Yet I can sing a jingle for a local newspaper that went out of business 30 years ago.|
I used to have a memory like a steel trap. My parents marveled over my ability to parrot back song lyrics I’d only heard once. I was a fountain of (probably useless) information I had read “somewhere.” I could remember tiny details from past experiences. This continued up until my children were born, when first sleep deprivation and then their social, academic, and athletic schedules demanded all my available mental real estate and then some. So yes, I totally blame them.
Now both of my children have steel-trap memories. I’ve learned that if one of them asserts a fact from memory--say, something we were talking about last week, or the date of their next field trip--they’re probably right. (An exception can be made for my son’s claims about “facts” from the videos he watches on YouTube, since he tends to exaggerate and also often fails to understand nuance and context. But when it comes to things like how to do a math problem, he’s definitely going to be right and I’m definitely going to be clueless.)
Instead of arguing with them only to be proven wrong, or getting discouraged because my memory isn’t what it once was, I have begun harnessing their powers for (my) good. “Remind me to wash your basketball uniform after dinner,” I say. Or, “Make sure you ask your teacher about that permission slip.” Most of the time, they remember.
And if they don’t? (Which does happen because they’re kids and they usually don’t actually WANT to remember the stuff I’m putting back on them.) Well, then, I just look back at them and say, “Hey, it’s not MY fault. I told you to help me remember.”
I may have lost some memory, but I’ve gained some wisdom!
May you remember everything truly important this week!