I’ve been finding lately that I’ve been forgetting things. Nothing really important, but I’ll turn on my laptop with a task in mind, and then by the time I’m logged in, I’ve forgotten what I was going to do in the first place. Or I’ll go into a different room in the house to get something, and once I get there, I have no idea why I left the room I was in before.
It dawned on me today that the reason I forget things is because there just isn’t any room in my brain for new information, because the old, useless stuff just refuses to leave.
Like the complete lyrics to every song from A Chorus Line. And the words to the majority of the songs recorded by Air Supply, which I don’t believe I’ve listened to since the mid-80s.
And how to load and use a caulk gun (I only realized this information was hanging on, because I spoke to a man in his 20s today who didn’t even know what a caulk gun is).
About half of the Gettysburg Address, whichI was required to memorize for a class in 9th grade.
I know how to french braid hair. This is information that’s not doing me any good whatsoever, as I’m in my 40s and have no current need to french braid my hair. Oh, and I have two sons.
I also have the entire layout of my local supermarket, where I’ve been shopping for almost 12 years, memorized. I write my shopping list in the order of the aisles. Okay, so maybe that’s useful information, but the fact that I can tell you exactly where in the cereal aisle the Cheerios are, and that canned corn is on a bottom shelf, is probably taking up a fair amount of cognitive real estate.
Every time I use my waffle maker, which I assure you is NOT often, I remember that despite what the instruction manual says, it takes 4 minutes from the time I close the lid for the waffles to be cooked to perfection.
So, is it any wonder that when I’m introduced to someone new, I just pretend their name is Lisa, because I know there’s no way I’m going to remember it once I walk away?