Forgetting to Remember
If elephants never forget, then I’m not in danger of becoming one of the giants of the jungle.
Like most people across the world, I fell in love with the Harry Potter series of books and movies. The books more so than movies, as they were incredibly descriptive and I often felt like a part of the wizarding world as I read, I became so immersed. Apart from the Cloak of Invisibility (everybody’s favourite, right?) one of the other gadgets I loved was Neville Longbottom’s ‘Rememberall’. As a forgetful fellow, amongst other things, it would glow to give him an alert when he’d been absent-minded. Although he often couldn’t remember what he’d forgotten – a clever plot addition.
When I leave this mortal coil, and go either ‘up top’ or ‘down town’, depending on how The Man feels I’ve done – one of the big questions I have to ask is why I was blessed with the gifts I have, if indeed they’re gifts. I’ve been told I’m not too shabby with numbers, have an eye for detail, and a radar to pick fake people pretty quickly. But back before the stork delivered me, I also must have lined up twice or three times in the ‘music trivia and stupid facts’ queue, whilst forgetting to line up to get my well-needed dose of tolerance (red head = short fuse, it would appear).
My ability, and I use the word loosely, to regurgitate ridiculous facts like cricket batting averages to two decimal places, or the highest place on the top forty that a song made it to way back in the eighties, does not appear to have a positive correlation with holding a ‘to-do’ list in my head, or with other critically important tasks, like which exit to take off the freeway, or that Thursday is garbage night.
Having a tendency to be a bit like Neville saw me undertake a regime of Ginkgo tablets in the early 2000’s. These tablets help with blood flow and circulation, and protect the brain from the effects of aging (ie: forgetting). The Ginkgo’s don’t make you smarter, so to speak, but there is serious science to say they assist with clear thinking and help memory. I reckon I nailed the brief back then by taking my daily dose of this beautiful plant – never in trouble with the wife for forgetting something important (maybe that’s a stretch), organised, planned, and my knowledge of cricket stats and useless stuff from the Guinness Book went through the roof! Whilst I’ll never win Trivial Pursuit because my expertise in History and Geography is non-existent, but I have always proven super-valuable to the Wednesday night trivia team, especially in the ‘guess the song’ and sport categories.
2019 sees me well and truly on the upper side of fifty and if I’m being perfectly honest, the brain doesn’t pump on all eight cylinders 100% of the time anymore. Steve Waugh’s batting average will always be 51.06, and all 16 digits of my credit card are burned into my subconscious (yep, useless info), but keeping a list of a dozen grocery items in my head and recalling them verbatim at the supermarket is a bit of a challenge. So, giving the ol’ Ginkgo’s another run this year seemed logical. One tablet a day with meals … but it takes about a month before the positive effects kick in, they say. So, I’m literally racking my brain each day to remember to actually take the tablet that’s gonna help me to remember. What a vicious cycle of absent-minded-ism. Neville Longbottom, if you’re reading this, your legend lives on. I’m hoping I’ll remember to remember next month, not the other way round.