Thursday, December 3, 2009

The brain can hold just so much . . .

I can't remember everything.

Up until a few months ago, I thought that not remembering telephone numbers and people's names and restaurants and college professors and when someone got married (or born) was a tremendous weakness. My husband can remember the street address of the townhouse we lived in when we were first married. I can't remember the street name itself.

Then I had an epiphany. I actually don't care!

I remember things that are important to me. I forget the things that aren't. So much of everyday life is unimportant minutiae . . . the name of someone you work with for a couple of months, the hotel you stayed at for a weekend back in the 80's, a writing assignment published while doing research for the next one, your kid's preschool class teacher, who was president of the Junior League when I first joined, or the type of car I drove when I was in college (clunker covers it nicely). Honestly, do I need to keep those facts in the front of my memory? No! The brain can hold just so much, and a lifetime of memories gets pretty darned big.

So now I relax when I can't remember something that's excruciatingly important to the fact-obsessed.  I'm not unintelligent, or "losing it."

I'm just choosy about what I want to remember.

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