Mental junk drawers and failing at filing, correctly

I’m a thinker, an analyzer, I spend to much time inside my head milling around and sorting out my mental boxes and filing cabinets. What to keep, what to throw away, looking for things I might have lost and occasionally finding things I definitely did. It’s an interesting place in there, no doubt. A big mental storehouse of events, memories, records of my life. USUALLY it’s all there albeit sometimes disorganized.

Memory, our ability to recall things is a fascinating thing to me. Memory, our ability to recall, is or at least in part, relies upon our ability to have an effective filing system that we understand. The process of remembering things is essentially, mental record keeping. Knowing where we put it so that when we need it, we know where it is. It’s typically associative. We have an event, a name, an emotion and it gets connected with something. That something, whatever it is, is something familiar and always known. The A-D drawer for example. It’s a known system. Those “cabinets” we file things in. When thought of in that light, it’s not surprising there could be some clerical errors of sorts with things misfiled. What’s going on in this head of mine when things get misfiled? I really don’t know.

What happens when I haven’t got something immediately familiar with which to associate some new piece of information…. I’m missing or need to create a new drawer. In the meantime, it gets tossed into my mental junk drawer and forgotten about. Not unlike that old gift card with 5 dollars left on it, that pair of kitchen scissors and thumb tacks, etc in our real life junk drawers. Things that don’t have their own place yet or have yet to be categorized and associated. That’s where they go, at least in my house/brain. When I can’t find something, I always go to my junk drawer and start rifling through it. Or, alternatively, I mis-associate / misfile it and it gets into the wrong drawer. Like when my toilet tissue for the bathroom mistakenly gets put with the paper towels in the kitchen. I wont find the TP until I get a new roll of paper towels. Oops, my bad. I hope that roll of TP lasts longer than the paper towel roll! My bad!

What makes me think about this is that I am nearing/in pre-menopause. I’ve had some memory lapses in the last handful of months at times it would normally be PMS, that sent me digging into my mental filing cabinets and junk drawers. I had a conversation one morning with a friend. A few hours later, he brought it up. I had no idea what the hell he talking about. I still don’t remember the conversation. I still can’t even find it in my junk drawer. I don’t know where I put it. It’s just gone. Poof. Just like that. I once told a friend of mine the same thing multiple times within a short time span – there was wine involved that time but not that much. I know I’m not losing my mind but it can feel like it. I also completely missed my son’s Appt last Wednesday and he’s been going to that for months. Every Wednesday. Last week though, I completely forgot. When they called, I didn’t answer because I didn’t recognize the name of the place that showed up on my caller ID. He’s been going for the last 6 months….every Wednesday. I should have remembered. The Caller ID name was familiar when I saw it but couldn’t place it. Of course later on in the day I certainly did which resulted in a face-palm. I walked into my bedroom and had no idea why I was in there. Did I just habitually walk into my bedroom or did I have some reason to be in there? I didn’t know. So I came back out and sat on the sofa. If it was something of any great importance it will be realized later. Hopefully. Maybe I was just looking for fingernail clippers or something.

These are a few of the things that have happened over the last 4 months or so. That’s why I’ve been digging around in my storehouse so much the last few weeks. I have to much stuff in mental junk drawers and really need to organize it or perhaps find a new filing system. Sometimes it isn’t that I’ve misfiled anything at all, it’s more that I’ve forgotten how the filing system worked. Was it Alphabetical? Chronological? Numerical? Categorical? Is that last one even a real word? Hell if I know. Sometimes I draw a complete blank when trying to finish a sentence because I can’t think of the word I was going to use. If it gets much worse, I’ll have to make a Appt with my Dr…… that is if I remember how forgetful I am and remember to schedule it. LOL 🙂

As I went to post this, I use Windows Live Writer for my blog. I keep my program icons on the right side of my desktop and documents and folders on the left. I couldn’t find my icon for Windows Live Writer. I created a new one and then found the original after a duplicate name error. Not so “oddly enough”, I put the first icon in the wrong spot on my desktop. Duh! I don’t know why I moved it in the first place. Misfile!


~ by Deena Kay on 01/20/2010.

2 Responses to “Mental junk drawers and failing at filing, correctly”

  1. Deena – I use to say I had a mind with a steel trap in it. But recently, I had a conversation online. I didn’t save it as it was not at the top of my priority list. I don’t remember the details of it. This caused me a lot of pain as I was asked specific questions regarding it and I couldn’t recall. I am sure it felt like hedging to the questioner as I have minute detail recall on certain things. This was just not one of them. I have learned from it. Keep the mental junk drawer clean and keep copies of everything you can.

  2. Awe damn. I feel that. I recently had a computer problem and lost everything. Years worth. I was doing updates and creating restore points and even though I knew I needed to have a backup of things stored on a DVD or somewhere else, I failed in that. Epicly failed. But oh well. When things when wrong and system restore failed, I lost it all. Years worth of things. Pictures, dialogs, e-mails, you name it.

    I find ultimately as long as I speak from what I truly feel, then when presented with repeat info, I’ll likely respond the same. I also find that my long term memory is in fine working order so I hope that eventually, I’ll remember that which, at least in the short term, I’ve lost or forgotten.

    Aging stinks but brings with it a multitude of wonderful and new things as well. Like simply acknowledging that I dont look and feel 20 anymore AND that I’m OKAY with it! 🙂

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