Thursday, December 14

Yeah…. About That… (The Benefits of Selective Amnesia)

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Seems I am pulled in a million different directions lately.  Everyone wants a portion of my time, my talents or my help.  Everyone needs something from me.  But I am only one person and there are only 24 hours in a day. So, how can I keep from disappointing anyone? Selective amnesia of course.

Now this is not to say that I purposely ignore requests from anyone; I just tend to forget those things which I don’t personally find important or beneficial.  For instance, my husband calls me at work and asks me to stop on my way home to buy him cigarettes. He happens to be home already, having had the day off, is still sitting in front of the TV in his pajamas at 4:00 in the afternoon and just realized he is running low. I, on the other hand, have put in 10 hours of work and will have exactly forty-five minutes from the time I will likely get home (having NOT stopped to buy cigarettes) until the time I need to leave again to be somewhere else (a rehearsal, meeting, class, parent-teacher conference, etc).  In those forty-five minutes, I need to prepare a meal for the family that I won’t even be able to partake in.

So I ask myself a few simple questions. Are the cigarettes for me? NO! Will it benefit me at all to stop and buy cigarettes? NO! Do I have time to stop and buy cigarettes? Only if I want to listen to a bunch of whining about why dinner is late and likely be late to whatever I have scheduled for the evening. Is this something that my husband (or whoever is asking) could do for themselves? YES! Having weighed all this in my head, 90 minutes later I proceed to get in my car and drive straight home. I am met at the door buy my husband (still in his PJ’s) wanting to know if I got his cigarettes. Yeah….. About that….

It’s funny how I can forget all about a stop at the store within a few hours but can remember the lyrics to a song from 30 years ago. I can also cram loads of information in my head for an exam, only to have forgotten it all within a few days of the test. Apparently, my love of music and singing spurs me to remember songs, whereas what some teacher thinks I should know is of little use once I’ve proven to him or her that I do indeed know it.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this. We have a tendency to remember what is important to us, personally. What other people think is important may not rent much space in our brains. This selective amnesia (or selective memory) can actually be quite beneficial to someone like me, who is often overloaded and overwhelmed with things to do.  So, did I buy ice cream, cookies and chips at the store? Have I looked at my friends taxes yet? Did I burn a replacement CD for that neglectful choir member?  Yeah….. About that…. 

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