Its not completely lost, just in a fog both physically (inflamed sinuses) and mentally (how come my mum in law can’t remember what she did last week but remembers distinctly lending us a toy about 4 years ago and now wants it back – the fuck if I know where it is now….).
On the whole I like my head. It chooses to remember the things that are important to remember (birthdays, the general plot of a good book, entertaining moments that make me laugh on reflection, how to turn a computer on etc). When it forgets things, I dismiss it thinking they were obviously not important. It also gets excused when it hasn’t had enough rest (like the incident with the wallet last weekend). I have only just received my new bank card btw. Its amazing how you become much more aware of your daily expenditure when you have to pay everything with cash, as I have had to do this week. Once its gone, its gone. As a result I had an interesting ‘on a wing and a prayer’ trip to one of the few petrol stations in our area because of lack of funds the previous day.
Back to the memory thing, I have realised that the older generation have a much better long-term memory than, for instance, a (slightly) younger person like me. Maybe that’s just because they have been around longer but I had a similar situation with my mum not so long ago. “Where did you put that dinner service I gave you a while back?” my mum says. “I haven’t the faintest idea what you are talking about” I reply. “Please dont tell me you haven’t got it”, she says. At which point I am desperately racking my brains as I can see that she is brewing to make this an issue. The egg timer in my memory is whirring, the files of my life are being flicked through like the foolscaps in a filing cabinet (get born, piss off my dad for losing the keys to the suitcases hours before a flight, piss off my mum for putting mud in the tumbledryer, ride a pony, fall off a pony. first day at school, frist day at new school after parent’s divorce etc etc) Then I finally alight upon the file marked ‘the nineties’. “Oh you mean the one that was cream and green and looked a bit ‘art deco in the 1980s’ Is that it?” My mum replies “yes it was quite expensive and I wanted you to keep it” (then why the hell did she decide to give it to me when I was at university??? “Um, sorry Mum but I dont think I have it anymore”….oh dear the shit has hit the fan now she doesn’t look happy. “Well what did you do with it then?” “I don’t know Mum, I can’t remember it was a long time ago” (I think I might have flogged it). “Well that dinner service was very important to me and I wanted you to have it for a keepsake”. The collection took up 2 cupboards, which is probably why I chose to get rid, although if she had expressed how important it was when she gave it to me, I wouldn’t have been so flippant about it.
It pisses me off that they can do that though. Will that be the same case with me. Will I get to 2025 and then anything after that gets forgotten about? Yet I will have a photographic memory of things I said or promised to someone in the early noughties?
Also I hold the opinon that if you give something that’s it, it is gone. If you want to make sure that you see it again you say to the person that you are giving it too – “Here you are but if for any reason you no longer need it please let me know as i will have it back”. Thats all my memory needs to hear in order to register that it is an important item. For instance, I have some prints that my stepdad has lent to me as he knows I have a particular interest in them. At the time he said that if ever i didnt need them that I should return them to him. So, every time I look at them I rember that they are his and not mine to do as I wish.
I am the opposite of a clutter junkie – I HATE clutter, I also like travelling light (which is at times a challenge with children). Once I invited a friend and her hubby and daughter to a picnic in our local park. We arrived with one large tupperware box of sandwiches and snacks to share between us. my friend arrives with everyting short of a dining table and chairs. A large cooler box, a couple of other boxes, boxes within other frigging boxes, food that would have fed another 3 families at least. The amount of effort to get all of this to the park, unpack it and then pack it again was substantial. I like to eat, have a drink, then go for a walk. Not arrive, spend 2 hours on my arse munching all kinds of shit and then pack all the rubbish and boxes and bits up and roll back to the car.
My Mum in law has my husbands old toys – before you get the wrong idea, he is 35. There are toys that my daughter stopped playing with last year that are alreay gone – off to the charity shop for another child, of the appropriate age, to enjoy. OK I understand somethings are kept for sentimental reasons but at the end of the day its just a bunch of stuff. People, relationships and memories are the best things to keep and preserve…
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Thanks for reading.