When memory gets tough you have to fight

“If you didn’t remember something that happened, is it because it never happened? “

– Jodi Picoult

I think it’s getting worse and worse.

I keep leaving the house, backing up, walking up the street and suddenly I can’t remember if I pressed the button to close the garage door.

It is as if there is a big hole in my memory. I completed all of the simple tasks involved in backing up an automobile, didn’t rush, didn’t rush, checked the mirrors and looked over my shoulder. I am also aided and encouraged by a vehicle that emits a variety of warning beeps if traffic or a pedestrian is approaching.

But then I walk down the street and I realize … I don’t remember seeing that door come down.

I’m like people who go on vacation and can’t remember if they’ve left a stove burner on.

With my garage door in doubt, I’ll almost always find a place to turn around, even if it’s a mile or two down the road, and I’ll be back to check.

I tried using memory tricks – “Don’t put speed in Drive until you’ve said ‘One-two’,” I told myself.

I don’t know why I came up with “One-two”, but maybe it’s related to the old saying: “Measure twice, cut once”.

And it’s not just the garage door.

I always forget where I put my reading glasses. I am inclined to take them off and place them somewhere I think I will remember, but forget so quickly.

Add the fact that without glasses things get harder to see and the challenges become obvious.

I know I have habits, and habits are useful.

One of mine is that I almost always place glasses, key chains and even wallets at “eye level”. This is often where I find them on a shelf or a fireplace.

Cars are different. When I’m sitting in a car I’m likely to put my wallet anywhere: console, glove box, that side door compartment, maybe under the seat

Last week I had no recollection of putting it under the sun visor, but it was there.

I tried to research a possible medical name for “fear of leaving the burner on, the door unlocked, the garage door up …” Psychology today on obsessive-compulsive disorder, but I didn’t think that was it. I think of the blackouts.

So I asked Dr Google about it and found articles on amnesia, storytelling, and a Mayo Clinic discussion of dementia.

It all sounds so serious, but I’m not that serious.

I’m just forgetful sometimes.

Moreover, the odds are in my favor. I know lowering the garage door is something I do subconsciously, I don’t waste brain cells trying to remember it.

In fact, as many times as I turned around, got home, and checked, I only found the garage door wide open twice.

The first time was 20 years ago.

The last time was Thursday.

I need some new tips.

Bill Kirby has reported, photographed and commented on life in Augusta and Georgia for 45 years.

About Marion Alexander

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