More to Remember – More to Forget

We call it senility, but I think there is much more to it. Simple one word answers no longer suffice.

“Why?” You might ask.

Daniel's First Birthday

Daniel's First Birthday

Why is the question that Daniel will ask many times over the next few decades. He’ll learn more and more as he grows older. As Louie Armstrong sang, “He’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know.”

And someday his brain will get overloaded too!

I compare the human brain to a new hard drive on a computer. When it first comes out of the factory, there is very little on it – just enough to perform simple functions. That’s the way babies start off. A large clean surface for recording important things, and a little bit of programming to get things started.

When we’re young, the things our parents consider trivial are being seen as marvels by young eyes experiencing it for the first time. That’s why those things make lasting impressions. It’s also why we can still remember them more than half a century later.

In the meantime, once we’ve seen something many times, it doesn’t make a dent on our recording surfaces… and is quickly forgotten.

I forget why I started writing about this topic.

Let me see…….

It had something to do with Daniel….

That’s why I included a picture of him. Cute kid, isn’t he!

Oh yes! Now I remember. Daniel is the youngest of eleven grandchildren. By the time summer arrives, that number will be up to thirteen.

That means that, in addition to remembering my bride’s birthday and our anniversary, I have to remember the birthdays of all eleven (soon to be thirteen) grandchildren, and each of their parents (that’s another twelve).

I believe it was at Daniel’s birthday party that a good friend, Claudia Mulcahy, suggested that I should be getting used to attending children’s birthday parties. Truer words were never spoken.

I have an older brother who has so many grandchildren that he couldn’t hope to remember them all. One of his daughters came up with a solution a few years back. She buys a bunch of birthday cards, addresses them, and writes a date on each envelope. He simply checks the stack periodically, pulls out the ones that need to be mailed, and signs them. I believe he also tucks an extra piece of paper in each one prior to mailing it.

If my offspring continue to multiply, I may need to look into that system for myself.

This isn’t senility… it’s an overloaded brain.

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2 Responses to More to Remember – More to Forget

  1. I never thought about it (memory) in this way. I’ve got my first grandchild arriving in May so there’s an extra birthday to remember and in years to come no doubt more.

    I’m not sure what’s worse an overloaded brain or an under used brain. Maybe somewhere in the middle or on the side closer to the overloaded scale.

    Steve
    Melbourne, Australia.

  2. carolee44 says:

    I think as we age we are on overload..with challenges, problems and new things. Life is not as simple as in our youth..though the youth might disagree. We keep plugging, doing soduku, brain games, and hope our brain continues to survive.

    new blog name boomercarol.com

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