They say a body in motion stays in motion. It’s true also about writing. A pen in motion stays in motion. The reverse is also true. Problem is a memory….what was I saying? See this is my problem. Hourly I have inspirations. In the time it takes me to say, oh, that would be a good post, the inspiration is gone. I’m left wondering what was that idea I just had? When you’re young and forget things, it’s funny. When it happens again and again, like a predictable punch line, the humor is gone.
Just this morning I thought of something to share but now I can’t remember. Was it a remembrance of Thanksgiving? The daughter coming home for the holidays for the first time in four years? The situation in the Middle East? My recent trip to Cairo? Heck if I know. The irony is that I’m living with my 90+ year old mother who cannot hold a thought for more than 10 minutes. I’m trying to be patient, really I am. I answer the same question with as much lightness in my voice as possible but after the twelfth time, well, I can hear the sharpness, the impatience. I know its not her fault, believe me. That doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Perhaps it is my own failing memory which causes the genetic evidence of my future sitting in the living room to drive me crazy.
She’s lucky in a way. She has no idea that she’s forgotten, anything. With no inkling that she’s been told the answer already, multiple times, she asks “do I have to be anywhere today?” or “where is Scott?” I, on the other hand, linger over my memory lapses. I push my constipated brain to force it to expel the lost thought. I rewind my activities as if I could go back in time and grab the moment when I had the thought. I rummage though random thoughts to see if I can excavate the idea. I stand on my head, jog in place and play games to try to trick my mind into remembering. Mostly unsuccessfully.
It may be inevitable but that doesn’t mean I willI go lightly into the abyss. The prospect of not being able to recall information is frightening. Like a child under the covers who doesn’t confront the bogie man, I deny my failing mind. When a thought dematerializes I either hide it or I laugh about it as if it’s insignificant. The tool which helped me maintain order when I was juggling dozens of multiple duties, now is my lifeline. I keep notebooks. I keep track of every phone call and meeting. I have lists of tasks and contacts. I transcribe. I record. I document. Later, as I review them, I thank my yesterday self for leaving the breadcrumb trail. Perhaps this is the best I can do; not stop the loss but ameliorate the impact on my life.
I will continue to develop coping mechanisms, play concentration games and worry. I will also continue to hope there are some brilliant, unforgetful minds, working on a remedy. What is the point of us living a longer life if we are destined to live it in ten minute intervals?