Last Friday, about a half hour before close of business, I looked at the calendar. I’d been writing the date all day, but finally the day sunk in … I had a bill due Saturday. Dang, what is it? After a couple of minutes I remembered it was for some healthcare services, but then for the life of me I couldn’t remember if I’d paid it. I clearly remember fighting with member services, but did I drop it into the mail?
So I called, and I hadn’t mailed it. Fortunately for no additional cost, they took my credit card info, and I was paid in full before the due date.
Thank goodness I remembered!
When I first started working, my memory was my strongest skill. I could have a seemingly endless amount of facts at my immediate disposal. I never wrote things down, because I never needed it: I never forgot birthdays, there was no chance a bill would be late, and I would get everything done in order in advance of deadlines. I was a mental rockstar.
I remember the first time something slipped. I completely spaced on sending out birthday cards to employees one month. Hmmmmm … that is odd. So I wrote down in my calendar on the last day of each month to prepare the cards. And then I forgot about the incident, it being a one-off and all.
Until I forgot to send something a person had asked me for as I was walking through the cube farm. From then on, “Send me an email about it” was my answer to all such requests.
I remember a time in grad school when I was 30, where I was trying to commit some financial formulas to memory. They just wouldn’t take hold. I begged the universe to allow me to brain dump the Gilligan’s Island theme song to free up some room. My request was denied.
Slowly instant recall has become less and less “instant”, and for each proof of my faulty memory I would come up with a way of solving it. I’m so glad I love putting systems into place, because it definitely has made me seem a lot more organized than I feel at times. When bosses call me up with requests for information, instead of being able to immediately give the answer, my answer now is “One moment, let me check.” I often surprise myself by finding complete databases I don’t remember compiling, admittedly years ago. But the bosses are happy to have the information, and I’m grateful not to have to redo something I already completed (even if I have no recollection of it).
Growing up, I remember my Grandma emphasizing that everything needed to have a specific place so that way you didn’t need to remember where you put it last. At the time I humored her because remembering is so easy, but now I understand her completely!
Have you started to notice little things slipping? What are you doing to combat the effects? Do you now have the Gilligan’s Island theme song stuck in your head?