Last weekend, I was in the car with my husband, sister and teenage daughter. We were on our way to a fancy horse show "awards banquet" (read: sweaty riders, jug wine, burgers and hot dogs) at a hunt club.
Carole King's "Tapestry" came on the radio and I reached over and turned it up.
"I love this song," I said. "I think this album might have been the second grownup album I ever bought. End of sixth grade; after "Good-bye Yellow Brick Road."
My husband laughed. "You have an amazing memory," he said.
"Not really," I assured him. "Right now I'm struggling in the 'What did I come into this room for?' department."
You see, my daughter may be the high school senior, but I'm the one having "senior moments."
My husband admires my memory; my daughter, on the other hand, not so much. "Yeah, I know. You told me that," is a fairly frequent response from her, usually coupled with an appropriate eye roll. Sometimes I refrain from sharing some piece of news or other because chances are pretty good I already have.
And I'd like my daughter to remember me with some modicum of respect (and a lot less eye rolling).
A yoga teacher once told me that I would be less forgetful, less frazzled and less likely to break my foot (that's actually how the discussion started) if I resolved to do one thing at a time.
Not easy. If I'm leaving my third floor office to get a second cup of coffee in our first floor kitchen, I invariably bring down my mobile phone, dirty breakfast dishes, outgoing mail and stacks of paper to be recycled. This makes me feel efficient. It also leads to tripping. And, while it seems counter-intuitive, trying to remember everything results in forgetting something — sometimes the original thing I started out to do. The rest of my family can attest to this ...
"What did I do with my coffee cup?"
"Where is my phone?"
"Have you seen my glasses?"
I certainly understand my yogini's advice, but it isn't really in my character to follow it. Still, there are lots of tricks that feel more natural to me. For example, I send myself reminder emails. I record mini memos to myself on my phone. I use sticky notes. I put objects up on my dashboard that don't belong there. I keep a datebook. I make lists. Lots and lots of lists.
And, perhaps most important, I've learned to cut myself slack.
This morning, I had to pick someone up at Bradley Airport in Hartford. Ever the multi-tasker, I planned my drive so that I could sit in the airport parking lot and participate in a conference call for 45 minutes before her flight arrived. The only problem is that I was on automatic pilot (a close cousin to short-term memory loss) and ended up at Brainard Airport. Fortunately, I figured out my mistake (there were no terminals, no passenger carriers). Fortunately, my iPhone has a wonderful little feature called a GPS.
Unfortunately, I spent my 45 minute conference call racing up 91 North to the place I should have gone in the first place.
But, all's well that ends well. I was a mere ten minutes late and everything worked out.
And, let's face it, in a week or so, I probably won't remember my misadventure anyway.
Or where I put my car keys.
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