How to Know if You’ve Forgotten Something

How to Know if You’ve Forgotten Something October 2, 2021

Most mornings, I make a list.  If it’s on the list, there’s a 85 percent chance of it happening.  As it happens, today I did not make a list.   Still, I’d made it through work, where I have lesson plans and lists, so I figured, “It’s Friday. We got this.”


After work, I drove to the carwash. It felt indulgent, efficient, luxurious.  When I finished, I still had time before pick up, so I dutifully parked at the school, hopped out and sold five tickets, with two asking me to come back Monday for the Parish raffle.   Driving home with my daughter, we talked about school and the weekend and plotted out Saturday. We knew it would be busy.  Pulling into the driveway, we arrived just in time to see the teens walking up the hill from the bus, and the cell phone rang.

I missed an appointment at two o’clock for a shot I’m supposed to get the day after chemotherapy.   Casually, I asked over the phone, “What happens if I don’t get the shot today?” Hoping I could push it off until Monday rather than drive right after driving.  “Not getting it could land me in the hospital.  Could I get there by four?  It was 3:17.   “Yes.  Yes I could.”

However all the plans for how to plot the rest of the day which stressed, “take it easy,” went out the window.  I grabbed a water, trying to be dutiful.

I called my Mom, talking to her made the drive less tiring.   Yes I made it to the appointment and got the shot.  However, the drive home where I missed my obligatory afternoon nap required blasting the AC, the windows down and hard rocking Journey, Foreigner and Boston plus the water I wished was a diet coke to make it.   It’s amazing how tired one feels until one gets home, and then, lying down, nothing.  It’s a good thing the nurses called me, because I know, I would not have looked at that planner until Sunday night to plot out the week.   You’d think the lesson would be learned and I’d make a list for the next day.

However the crash came later and while I know I sat down on the bed to watch the British Baking Show around ten, and had my computer opened and poised to create the five hundred words, when I woke and remembered, yes I needed to take my evening medications, someone had come and tucked me in, turned off the tv and put my computer away.   I’d forgotten to take it easy too, but someone else made sure I did.  I pulled out the planner and mapped out the day for Saturday on the planner.

How do I know when I’ve forgotten something? When I don’t write it down…and when I don’t look at what I’ve written down…and when I’ve made other plans or feel like things are too smooth. It usually means, something else that should be done, hasn’t been remembered.  I used to have a huge dry erase board where I wrote at the top, “If it ain’t here, it ain’t happening.” I may have to reinstate that process.   I pulled out the planner to make a note.  “Where’s my pen…”  Those other things, they’re part of why this happens, but this…this reality, of remembering I want to do something and not being able to find a pen or pencil, crayon or dry erase marker to remind me on the paper of what I want to do, that’s the real culprit.

I recalled when I got the car washed, I cleared out five pens from the floor, two colored pencils, a broken pencil, scissors, a calculator and three socks.  I knew where the socks were, but the all the writing stuff, I’d stashed in my bag that I left in the car.   The note would have to wait.

For want of a pen.  I might not remember, even writing all of this.

That’s why I forget things.  I can’t write it down, and once I’m distracted by whatever comes next, it’s gone.
In researching photos for this piece, I discovered a picture of Forget-Me-Nots, which apparently can grow up to two feet tall.  It struck me, that that’s nature’s equivalent of a dry erase board complete with working marker, and I thought would look much prettier as a closing shot, even better than a shiny car that isn’t mine.

On the bright side, the inside of my car looks very nice too. And it still is stocked with pens for when I next get in there and make my list.

P.S. Went to Target today. Forgot to get the Dry Erase Board.   Why? It’s not on the list.

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