Yesterday when I was out doing errands with my older daughter I locked my keys in the car. But, ha, I was prepared. I had set up a safety procedure for those times when I am forgetful. I have a spare key in my purse.
I know one day I will probably leave my keys in the van and lock the door. I locked my keys in the van last year. Once when I was in a hurry to get home to drive my oldest daughter to work. I had ten minutes to spare so I ran into a big box store. I had just picked up my car from the repair shop and had not reattached the key to the lanyard. I jumped out of the van remembering the lanyard, but not the key. She had to call a friend to bring her to work. I called triple A and waited.
Yesterday at my daughter’s swim lesson a woman sat beside me on the bench with her son. They were waiting for his lesson to begin. She looked at me like she knew me. She asked, “Have we met before? You look familiar. . ” I stared at her. I didn’t say anything because I couldn’t remember her, and she looked like she recognized me. Then she said,”Oh yes, you were at the homeschool meeting last month. Do you remember?”
“Oh yes” , I smile and nod. I remember going to the meeting. I vaguely remember her face. Was she so unremarkable, or was I staring at my cell phone too much and not paying attention to the people I met that night. Did she get new glasses? A new hair cut? Was it because she sat on the side of me and not in front of me, so I only saw her arm?
I have stopped saying when I meet someone, “Oh, nice to meet you, as they may say, “Oh, we have met before.” So I try to be vague but pleasant, like ” Oh how nice to see you”; or” What nice teeth you have.”
I looked on-line for suggestions on how to improve my memory and came across an article in Forbes. Majid Fotuhi, M.D., chairman of the Neurology Institute for Brain Health and Fitness and an assistant professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University, says that the reason people may be forgetful as they age is,”Because there is typically a 0.5% per year shrinkage of the brain’s hippocampus as you age.”
I feel so much better now. My hippocampus is shrinking. I will listen to Dr Fotuhi’ suggestions and reduce stress, exercise my brain, and eat better. However, the next time I meet someone who remembers me, and I haven’t a clue who they are. I will smile and say, ” My hippocampus is getting smaller. What is your name again please.”