Gratitude,  Memories,  Musings,  This Life...

Sunday Snippet: The “I Can’t Remember” Edition

Had lunch with Liz yesterday and it wasn’t long enough, but we both needed to get going, so we parted ways reluctantly. On the way to the cottage, I thought of something else I wanted to talk to her about, and I nearly called her from the car, but I didn’t because we both needed to focus on driving. I still can’t remember what it was I wanted to tell her… and that seems to be a theme in our lives.

“I can’t remember… ” There are so many of those moments anymore. I can’t remember why I came back to the guest room closet… so I leave, get halfway down the hall toward my office and then remember, turn around and go back for whatever it was. I can’t remember whether I got something out to thaw for supper–check the kitchen. Could be chicken or salmon thawing in the sink, could be nothing. So I either note dinner is out or I check the freezer for something that looks good. It may or may not be what Husband I originally discussed having that night. Inevitably, I forgot something when I go to the grocery store, even if I have list, and more often than not, it is the one thing I went to the store to get. <eye roll>

Here’s a biggie–I can’t remember if I shut the garage door–that thought can occur anywhere from one block away from home to parking at my destination. I have been known to drive around the block to look in the case of the former or call my neighbor in the case of the latter. Believe it or not, I just checked with Liz to make sure I used former and latter correctly in the previous sentence because I couldn’t remember which was which.

It’s bad, kids. Liz and I are constantly beginning a sentence with I can’t remember if I told you this or not, but… or stop me if I’ve told you this. I don’t know about Liz, but I generally let her go ahead and tell me whatever it is because she’ll be well into it before I remember that she has indeed already told me. We both know that we’d damn well better write it down if a plot line or a few lines of dialogue or a story idea comes to mind–those things are fleeting at best. I’ve even been known to make a list of things I want to talk to her about when we get together, just so I don’t forget anything…like I did yesterday. I still can’t remember why I almost called her from the car after lunch… damn.

Lists are mandatory. I’ve taken to using one of my River’s Edge map notebooks to keep reminders, to-dos, and a list of things that need to get done each day. It’s been a boon, because, honestly, I can’t remember jack. I write down words, appointments, anything at all to do with anytime at all I plan on being awake. In addition, I make lists in my phone and set reminders to do things–like write this blog.

All that said, I can and do remember some things. Passwords. Even if I’ve changed them recently, they stick. And I have a blue zillion of them. I don’t have to remember phone numbers anymore because my phone does that for me, but I can remember my phone number from when I was kid: LI5-3226. I can’t, however, remember, when it changed from LI5 to 545. I can remember grammar rules, except for lie and lay, which I think is damn good for an editor of a certain age. However, thank God for CMOS, Webster, Google, and house style guides. I can remember film titles and actors, but not whether they are currently dead or alive.

I remember faces, but not names and frankly, I’ve finally accepted that and feel no shame in confessing, “Please forgive me, your name again?”

Okay…I had a point here… but I can’t remember what it was. Maybe it was simply that not remembering is a symptom of… what? A busy life. A racing mind? A crazy world? Too much caffeine or Diet Coke? Or…heaven forbid, aging? Whatever it is… I’ve got it. In spades. Do you? What are you tricks to remember things that need remembering? (I’m not sure there’s a cure for remembering useless information, so let’s not go there.)

Gratitude for this week: Finished and invoiced two projects; today is my book signing at the winery with darling Moe as my trusty sidekick; got to see Son, DIL, and Grandboy this week; lunch with Liz; and I had a fun lunch with my new group of lady friends–the Lovelies (Do you love that name?).

Stay well, stay safe (probably better mask up in a crowd again), be kind, and most of all, mes amies, stay grateful,


  • Rebecca J Warner

    I thought of something Saturday night that I just had to tell my sister-in-law. I knew hubby would be calling her Sunday morning, as always, and I thought that I would just get on the phone and tell her then. Well, by Sunday morning what had seemed so important had fled my mind. And it stayed gone. I usually use my phone to send myself a reminder from one email acct to another. That’s been a big help. But this is inevitable. And the working theory on the line between normal and dementia is: If you remember the person but not the name, that’s normal. If you see the face and don’t recognize that person any longer, well…

    • Nan

      Oh, that’s so much me, too, Rebecca. I love the idea of sending reminders between email accounts! So far I’m still in the normal range… thank heavens! Hugs and thanks for stopping by!

  • Kimberly

    It is happening to all of us. I keep a lot of lists. I swear it became worse after I had covid last year. With my mom, I know I have to let her finish whatever she is trying to tell me, because if I interrupt, it will be gone forever. We do not have a garage door to worry about, but mom locks the door with my keys, so we know if she has locked it, she has to hand them back to me to put in my purse.

    • Nan

      Kimberly, welcome to the club–we’re consider T-shirts and a secret handshake, although chances are good none of us could ever remember it. Hugs, sweetie.

  • Leigh Ann Edwards

    If I was a person who said OMG, I’d be saying it now! I absolutely feel this way. And the last three weeks with being sick, I swear my brain is taking a vacation.
    I remember numbers, not names. Although I do have to write down passwords. I remember my childhood phone number and all my mother and father’s brother and sister’s birthdays, but I can’t remember why I came into a room or as you say, if I’ve told someone something.
    As far as the lay and lie, I’m hopeless. I just think I finally have it figured…and then my editor has to correct it. I’ve even thought of having my characters not do so much laying/ lying together but that’s unlikely.

    Love your snippets, Nan. I look forward to them every Sunday.

  • Sandy Pride

    Yes, the garage door; when leaves were flying, it would come back up. I stay in the driveway and watch it ALL THE WAY DOWN. My phone is my best friend. I set alarms for when I need to leave. I make lists for stores and delete them when I put the item in my cart.

    • Nan

      You would ask me that–I actually remember that I had chicken and you had fish… right? Thanks! Wish you could be there. Hugs!!

  • Janine

    I laughed about the one where you can’t remember if you closed the garage door. I do this nearly every time I leave the house. It drives my husband crazy when he has to turn around and go back home to check it. It always seems to be down too. I keep little note pads and pencils all around my house because I often think of something and afraid I will forget, so I write it down.

    • Nan

      So glad to know I’m not alone in the whole garage door thing. I’ve almost always closed it, too, but the one time we don’t check… I’ve taken to sitting in the driveway before I back out and saying to myself, “The door is down.” Is that a sign of how truly far I’ve fallen??