You know how when you forget something you look up? If you’re like me, you roll your eyes up and slightly to the left. Why do we (meaning I) do that? Is the information stored just outside your (my) eyelid? Is there some hidden cribsheet that can only be accessed from the inside? Or is the information I’m looking for up in the sky? When looking up do I hope to find the information written on the wall or on a cloud? Is that why when I was a kid in school teachers had us put those folders (or an arm) up around desks and we weren’t allowed to look up? Because the answer (to everything) is up there? I don’t know.
How come we don’t look down when we’re looking for answers? That seems a more logical spot to look. After all, the answer might be written on my shirt or in my purse or even, right in my hand (like that time I was looking for my sunglasses). But no, we look up. Here’s why I ask such stupid questions. I forget things. A lot. If you read many of my blog posts you’ll see a trend: I forget what I’m doing. A lot. Scary a lot. I forget appointments, names, life events, etc. if you’ve told it to me or I’ve experienced it, chances are I’ve forgotten it. But so what? The what is, that I’m an expert in forgetfulness. And looking up. When I first realized I had a memory problem I would just say “oops sorry’ or “oh you never told me that” until I realized the truth: I’m forgetful. Then I progressed to “I don’t know” and possibly shrugging my shoulders. But now that I’ve been to 600 doctors had 40 gallons of blood taken and undergone countless exams I realize that I’m going to have to live with this forgetfulness. But it’s gotten better.
So, since my memory has improved (but I’m nowhere near as smrt as I used to be) what’s the deal? The deal is, thank you for asking, is that I start looking up for the answers. son: “Mom, you know I hafta be at work at 12, right?” me: (looking up) “ummmm, yeah ok”. Or, Man: “honey, where did you put my glasses, newspaper, mail, manpurse, shoes?” me: “why are you asking ME?” Man: “Cuz they were here when I left for work.” Me: (looking up) “oh. Ummmm, in the trash, garage, recycle bin?” Man: “sigh.” Or Girl: “I’m ready to go to Target, mommy.” Me: “I’m not taking you to Target!” Girl: “But you said you would this morning, cuz I need lipgloss, tshirts, notebook, candy, pretzels, fake nails!” me: (looking up) “Oh, did I say that? <sigh> ok then, let’s go.”
Ok so you get the picture. There’s a lot of angst in my house centered around my memory. But fortunately, I am surrounded by kind and caring people who help trigger my memory. But what do I do about those times when no one’s there to help me remember? Well, first, I look up. Then I look around in my brain, which is difficult cuz I don’t know where I put that information. For example, when my son asked me what the name of my first dog was, I looked up. Then I rolled my eyes left and right (obviously trying to clear my brain, like a refresh button), then I looked way in the back of my brain for the information. I saw the dog. Saw it’s face. Remembered how much I enjoyed it. Sorta kinda knew it was a german shepherd or something. Can’t access the name, though. So, I shrug my shoulders (back to that again) and say “I don’t know.”
But sometimes, if I think I’m being clever and I can tell the kids really want an answer to the question, I’ll make it up. Its kind of like confabulating, see an old post, just so they have an answer. But you know what? They catch me. Every. Dang. time. Son: “mom remember I told you that I switched shifts with insert name here because she asked me? So I’ll need to be at work at noon instead of 4pm.” Me: (looking up) “oh yeah, uh huh, I remember!” son: “no you don’t. you’re just saying that.”