I have found myself exhibiting a new emotion; surprise. I love surprises but my usually repetitive domestic life doesn’t leave much room for spontaneity so I have not had them often; until now.
I was surprised recently when I realised that I had reached 37. How could that be? I didn’t look any different and I certainly didn’t feel any different. I was surprised again when I looked at how my children had grown; the fact I had three boys was a surprise to me; it’s hard to comprehend . . . But what was that going on in my exhausted brain; you know that annoying thought that completely evaporates the moment you try to articulate it to someone?
. . . What do they call that . . . There’s a name for it . . . It’s right on the tip of my tongue . . .
We have all heard the ageist jokes about getting older. My family like to talk about ‘senior’s moments’, ‘old-timer’s disease’ and being ‘mentally challenged’. All such terms refer to one’s loss of short-term memory.
That’s it! Short term memory! <proudly>
My short-term memory is just about shot to pieces. I swear I have done things or said things that people assure me I haven’t. I don’t remember where I put things that have been ‘saved for later’. I could not tell you what exactly happened yesterday; though it’s a pretty sure bet to be exactly what happened today given the household routine . . .
. . . Ummm I’ve completely forgotten what I was going to say . . . Anyway . . .
Oh, that’s right . . . Popular science tells us to exercise our grey matter by doing crosswords or playing Sudoku or trying to go without a shopping list to the supermarket. Are you for fucking real? It’s all I can do most days to remember my name! It’s just that all my energy goes into survival, once I’ve dealt with whatever it is to ensure that my family and I survive another day I quickly erase it from my memory. I have no room for it in my mind, nor any need to recall it later. It’s just not that interesting – I mean I cannot see me recounting my memoirs as a famous old lady recalling the wonders of domesticity such as the best soap to remove poo from towels or 101 ways with mince.
. . . Actually, knowing how to prepare mince comes in very handy, and you can freeze the meals for later . . . 101, no, that’s not me . . . I’m 37 aren’t I?
Ah . . . After turning 37 recently I discovered a sneaky trick my mind plays on me. I don’t think this is relevant to age though, it’s more about me being too tired to know what I’ve done.
That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
You see a family member gave me my birthday present and Master 2’s in advance when she visited earlier this year. I dutifully put them away safely to be opened on the big day. I promptly forgot about mine, even after seeing it in the bottom drawer when I got out Master 2’s present just two days before my birthday!
That was a real surprise, a double surprise because first of all I found it <squeals of delight> and secondly I actually liked the gift <hooray!>
. . . What are we celebrating?