Memory is a mysterious thing. Case in point: my gym lock. I’ve had it for about two years. It’s a purple combination lock that I bought at Target. (Did you need to know that?) Although I did not get to pick the combination, the string of numbers lends itself pretty well to memorization. And usually I manage to pull them up from the recesses of my brain when needed. But I vividly recall one evening about a year or so ago, having to sit on a locker room bench trying to clear my synapses, because I could not for the life of me remember the numbers in the correct order. I was drawing a blank. Or rather, I was drawing a jumbled mess. I think numbers from my previous combo lock even crept in. I tried many different strings and none of them worked. There was a long moment of slight panic--what am I going to do? My car keys are in there. My cell phone is in there. And there's no way I can get to them. Briefly visions of gym staff arriving on the scene with some lock cutting tool entered my mind, but I dismissed them quickly because, darn it, I knew the numbers, they were in my brain, they were just temporarily inaccessible. And I knew, of course, that the more frustrated and panicky I got, the less likely I’d be able to remember them. I ended up distracting myself by watching some TV (they always had MTV2 on in the locker room at the LAX 24 Hour Fitness) and then trying again, and I finally got it.
So it was a weird feeling when I walked into the locker room the first day at my new gym and a string of numbers just popped into my head, seemingly out of nowhere. But of course, it wasn’t really out of nowhere. I was back in a locker room, and my situational memory brought those numbers up to the surface. Remarkable how the brain works.
Speaking of forgetfulness.... Unless I stand right in front of the stove for the duration of the cooking time, there is a 95% chance that the pot will boil over. I've burned many things in the toaster oven. And when I put clothes in the washer, often times I forget to transfer them to the dryer for hours. Is this an indication that I'm easily distracted and scatterbrained (in an ADD sort of way) or that I have a bad memory? I'm not sure either one is better than the other!