A Question of Fear

I’m sure at some point in your life someone has asked you, “What are you most afraid of?” My answer has always been the same; death, but not dying myself, my closest family dying.

While I’m still incredibly fearful of that day, it now has an add-on. Not remembering.

For as long as I can remember (pun) I have always been afraid of forgetting things. So much so, I take an incredible amount of notes. Post-its are my best friends. Although more often than not, I section an 8.5×11 sheet of paper into four pieces and use those #recycling.

And it’s everything. Did I unplug my straightener? Did I give Grace her medication? Did I send in that report? Did I remember my Aunt’s birthday? No? Shit.

It has been a bragging point amongst my friends that I always seem to remember everyones birthdays, favorite songs, favorite foods, enemies, things that were said 4.5 years ago, etc. But now I seem to be forgetting stuff often. Just last night a friend asked me what I did on Saturday and I paused for an excessively long time (so long he changed the subject) and 10 minutes later I still couldn’t remember what I had done.

This actually terrifies me. It makes me worry that I’ve become so busy in my life that I might forget the important stuff. Right now Grace is snoring in her bed beside my desk, but I know she would have been happier if I had said the magic “w” word (walk) earlier in the evening. I haven’t talked to my ‘from away’ friends in a few days. I haven’t done much of anything besides work, volunteer stuff, cleaning, laundry, sending emails, cooking and sleeping. I’m not sure when life got this busy?

I’m afraid of forgetting. But I know that I won’t forget the debt that eats away at my bank account, and I think that’s most of my problem. It’s rushing to do this task, and this task, and this task, and fixing the unfixable, and all the while not really feeling much of anything besides anxiety and sore shoulders. But the notes continue to pile and stick to noticeable places.

I know some of you are reading this and thinking, “welcome to adulthood, kid” but I’ve been here now for many years and I refuse to believe that there’s not a better way of doing things.

While I have fear, I also have optimism. I try to look at my notes in such a way that “at least I will have this done and out of the way” instead of “frig I still didn’t do this yet.” And also, “My Aunt will be so surprised I remembered this year.” I might be a bad person, I don’t know. Birthdays have now been secured in my iCalendar.

I guess what I’m trying to realize in these few paragraphs is that whether I remember or not, no one is going to die – something just might fall out of place for a day or two. The only thing I really need to remember to do, is to breathe.

M.

 

One thought on “A Question of Fear

  1. I think short term memory loss occurs naturally as we get older. But if you’re trying to remember everything—what a Herculean task! I’ve heard of savants who can do such things, but I think we’re hardwired to forget, for the most part. It’s healthy and a necessary part of our survival. I make little lists of the important things I need to remember, but I try not to fret if I forget the little things. Not the biggest fan of Billy Collins, but his poem “Forgetfulness” is a lovely one and worth checking out.

Say anything.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s