Senility Now!

You know those moments when you are walking into a room and sudenly have no friggin clue why you're there? Or someone you see daily, whose name you should know, has just entirely abandoned you as you begin an introduction? Me too. In fact, I have those moments on a regular basis. Truth be told, if you wonder why I blog it is probably owing partly to my rapidly evaporating short-term memory pool.

In order to cope with my early-life senility I have devised various elaborate mechanisms to help me remember important things and events. There is first-off "The Vague Notion." The VN is a critical element in my ability to foresee the immediate future. A certain feeling of dread or anticipation proceeds important events and allows me to continuously remind myself of things I need to do in order to make that event a success. This only works, however, if the event causes great trepidation or great anticipation. If a strong emotion anchors the upcoming event, I am times more likely to remember it at regular intervals.
This doesn't work for say, returning movies to the library or getting to work early for a departmental meeting. For these, less awe-inspiring events, I require something a little less subtle: "The Electronic Reminder." The ER consists of either calendar reminders, email reminders or alarms on my cell phone that go off at strategic times throughout the day. These ensure that the uninspiring deadlines of my life are not completely overlooked. [NOTE: this method has been known to fail. The VN is a much more reliable method of memory-recall.]
The last memory aide, but hardly the least is "The Hand Mark." Also known affectionately as the washable billboard or the scrawl spot. (My boyfriend is not a fan of this method. He would prefer I didn't write on my hands and I sympathize, I really do.) Short-term deadlines require short-term messages written on the back of the hand and later washed off after too many trips to the ladies' room. Often this method is used when dealing with small events; usually interpersonal. Friends, family, colleagues to whom I owe a note, a call, a fiver, etc. If I was reminded to bring a pickle tray to a dinner, for instance, I will jot down "pkle" on the back of the left hand. I try to keep it short. Fewest letters possible. Or, if the reminder is to bring the camera over to my sister's house so that she can take a picture of her family to give to the relatives of her Ethiopian daughters,' I will jot down "cam." If the need to call a friend about her wedding arises during the middle of a busy work day (in case you haven't noticed yet, today is not one of them), I make an HM of the first three letters of her name.

This covers most of the bases for my memory lapses. But there is a territory that no device seems to penetrate. No aide can permeate this forgetful recess in my mind, and that is the chasm known as the "Slippery Fish Zone." This treacherous terrain of my brain eludes all attempts to recall bits of information. Once an event, date, name or idea is lost inside the SFZ, I will never see it again. I've lost perfectly good childhood memories in there and have lost countless arguments as well, because I can't remember the exact anything that is being talked about. This causes me concern. Not so much because it stinks to lose an argument or a childhood memory, but because I'm terrified of getting older with this memory grave already dug to such depths in my head. If I'm not yet thirty and so much information can get swallowed up in this sink-hole, what will I act like when I'm antique?

I guess it really doesn't matter. Once I lose half my memories, I can do what other old people do and start making them up! This actually sounds like a lot of fun and I will entertain and confuse my family with the tall tales I'll be telling from the rocking chair. Win win!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I had something to do... what was it?
(picture courtesy of a production of Driving Miss Daisy)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely suffer from this. My solution involves sticky notes, e-mail, and several electronic calendar systems (have you tried the google one? it's good). The hand thing really wouldn't work for me as I'm usually without a pen and, well, have fairly hairy hands.

16/5/07 10:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(damn, I forgot to sign that one)

16/5/07 10:48  
Blogger k_sra said...

Fairly hairy hands, huh? Well, I guess that's better than having hairy fairy hands...

I'm glad I'm not the only senile sufferer. Er.

16/5/07 13:33  
Blogger Tara said...

Sometimes I'm watching TV, and during the commercials I'll forget what I was watching. Not sure if I should blame it on the network for putting so many commercials on, or my fading memory. I've also walked into rooms without the faintest idea of why I went in there. I have to retrace my steps. Hopefully the two of us will wind up in the same nursing home. :)

17/5/07 09:54  
Blogger k_sra said...

//Hopefully the two of us will wind up in the same nursing home. :) //

Oh, please yes, that would be fun!

17/5/07 14:48  

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