Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Benefits Of Memory Loss

I often get blasted for my loss of memory.

I will admit, I don’t remember many things; like my best friend being at her son’s school library from 11am-3pm on a particular day, resulting in me calling her 57 times and leaving voicemail and text messages to the effect of WHERE on earth are you?? Or, my mother getting exasperated because she told me literally a million times what day my nephews birthday party is, yet I call her weekly to ask, Is it on Tuesday or Thursday?? Or Eddie rolling his eyes at me because I asked him, for the twelfth time, what state we are in, what Interstate we’re on or how many hours left till we get where we are going.

I don’t see any of this as particularly life altering to anyone involved; in the very least it’s irritating for the person repeating the information, but that’s about it. I can deal with an occasional Shit, you don’t remember anything do you?? or I just TOLD you 20 minutes ago!

I’m really not bothered by the intermittent memory loss and to be honest, I see it as a blessing most of the time; as a result, I am not encumbered with a whole lot of things that would weigh down my spirit or affect my relationships. What I mean is this; if I were to remember every slight, every hurt feeling, every wrong I think has been done to me, I probably wouldn’t be talking to anyone.

It’s not that I don’t get hurt by comments that are made, or perhaps by judgments that are assessed, but really, what do they mean? Does it mean I should not have relationships with the people who made the remarks? Are their assessments even correct? Should I throw them up over and over again, throughout the years? I don’t think so.

If someone hurts your feelings, or wrongs you in any way, either you address it as soon as you can, or you let it go. If pressed, I can definitely remember a hurt or slight and bring it up with the best of them, but usually it is only if the conversation has been led by an emotional Sherpa in that direction. Then, I am forced to recall and bring up said situation that hurt me, at which time I am usually told that I too, am throwing it up.

It’s not that I don’t have feelings about things, I just don’t see the purpose of bringing them up all the time. I know many people who bring up things that happened 8, 10, 15 years ago. People who have done for others, yet not gotten in return what they expected. And then there are those who have made what they thought was a Herculean effort, only to discover their effort was not recognized. I’ve recently come across two schools of thought on this; one has to do with currency, the other, expectations.

In the past few months, I read something that addressed the issue of currency; I don’t remember where I read it and am most likely going to wildly paraphrase, but the concept went something like this…

Suppose you are selling a TV set and your asking price is $100. The person you are selling it to wants to pay you in 100 kumquats. You’re thinking, Kumquats?? What they hell am I going to do with 100 freakin’ kumquats?? In this case, the person offering you the kumquats is giving the very best they have; because where they come from, 100 kumquats is virtually a King’s ransom and they can think of no better way to honor or pay someone than by giving them their prized kumquats.

What we have here is a problem with the equality of the currency and, at the same time, expectation. You are expected to pay with one form of currency, yet you are using another; and although your currency is quite valuable to you, it is not to the other person.

This is the very same unbalanced reciprocity that happens with emotionally charged family, friendship and romantic relationship situations; what you wind up with, is a case of not possessing and using the right emotional currency. You act, do or say something and the other person is expecting something different; therefore, not making the emotional transaction with the same form of currency.

The reason I bring up the currency/expectation thing is because of some recent events in my life. I have been re-connected with some family members as a result of my father’s passing. I am thrilled by this turn of events and will write more about it at a later date, but right now I feel as if I am in the middle of old hurts, wrongdoings and slights of others that have resurfaced and are marring what I think should be a joyous, united family. I have been told to my face, on more than one occasion that the reason I slip back into the family fold so effortlessly is because I have a poor memory. Often in the form of, Well, you forget everything that has been said or done in the past. You don't remember anything.

Wow. Shocker. Me, forget something?

Newsflash, people! The only way to get past this kind of thing, the only way to get past this kind of thing…oops, did I just repeat myself? Um, YES, I did. The only way to get PAST this, is to take a big freakin’ shovel and bury it. For good. Move forward.

There are new engagements, marriages, pregnancies, children, grandchildren, home buying, career advancements, retirements, etc. There are new reasons to find happiness in the people who are the most dear to you. Seriously? The past is gone. We cannot undo it, but we can rebuild it.

As far as my memory sucking? As far as my forgetting things that have happened in the past? I don’t forget everything. In fact, I really don’t forget most things. I just choose not to remember them in a way that will keep me from happier times. And if I don’t have the correct currency to complete the transaction, I will convert it. I will do what I can do, in the very least, to try and meet expectations. And I will talk. A lot. I want to have every exchange I participate in, go as smoothly as possible.

Why? Because I want to be rich.

Even if my memory does suck.


Real Live Lesbian said...

Excellent post. I totally agree.

If you live your life believing that the things that happen around you are NOT PERSONAL, you'll have much more happiness.

Fact is, even if the guy that just tried to cut me off in traffic is trying to ruin my day...I just don't care.

I think you have a handle on this. It's too bad for the people in your life that are holding grudges and not enjoying the richness that is there waiting for them. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Loved your message today.
- Laina