Posts Tagged With: aspects of memory

Day 461: Forgetting and Remembering

When I was preparing for my weekend trip to NYC, two days ago, I wanted to make sure not to forget my walking shoes. Besides my medication, those shoes were the one thing I thought I HAD to remember.

Those very comfortable shoes have appeared in this blog before, on Day 437: Look down and look back (in anger)


… but you might not remember them, since they appeared in the same post with (perhaps) more memorable items, including cookies.

This past Friday morning, when I was about to leave for work, believing I had remembered everything I needed for the trip at 1:30 for NYC, I realized …

… I had lost one of those shoes.

This was not an easy thing to do.  I was in the process of putting those shoes on, so I already had one of them in a secure location: on my feet. Somehow, in the last-minute preparations before I left home — where I was remembering and grabbing things I might need in NYC — I had misplaced the other shoe.

I couldn’t believe it.  And even worse, I couldn’t find it.

I had also remembered, that morning, that the most important way to prepare for this trip was to be calm and centered, and to not rush. But as I looked EVERYWHERE for that shoe, I was forgetting that, also.  Instead, I was getting frantic.

I can’t believe it!  How could I lose THAT?  Those shoes are the ONE THING, besides my anti-coagulants, that I HAVE TO HAVE. I love to walk and I NEED those shoes to walk in NYC. What is the matter with me?  Why do I ALWAYS do things like that?  It’s like I’m sabotaging myself, like I’m TRYING to screw things up. Arrrghhhh!

While I was having thoughts like those, hobbling around EVERYWHERE, wearing the one precious shoe I had managed NOT to lose, I could NOT FIND that friggin’ shoe. As I retraced my steps with growing disbelief,that shoe was still not to be found.

I realized I was going to be late for work. And I had timed things pretty closely that morning, wanting to see patients before I left at noon for my trip.

Semi-shoeless, I went upstairs and down, into the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, living room, dining room, everywhere I could remember being that morning, places where that shoe could possibly be hiding.  Somehow, I wasn’t remembering some part of my earlier preparation path, for that shoe was not turning up.

Perhaps you can remember forgetting where you put an item, in a way you found unbelievable, and what that was like for you.

Finally, I remembered to lose my investment in the outcome of finding that shoe. I located some older walking shoes and decided to take those.

Once I had done that, I found the missing shoe which was … on the kitchen counter. Eeeek! How inappropriate!  Bad, bad shoe. And I thought:

Of course. I should have remembered that is how to find something. Decide you don’t really need it.


I put both those shoes on, and left for work. I was five minutes late, which wasn’t so bad. I managed to do a good enough job getting everything I needed to get done, and left for the train station, cutting things a little closer than I wanted, but I got to the train station with some time to spare. As I got out of my car, I realized …

… I had forgotten those walking shoes — both of them, this time — at work.  I could picture them, still under my desk, where I had placed them, once I got to work.

The only shoes I had with me, on my feet, for my weekend in NYC, were my work shoes.  Not the best choice for pounding the New York pavements.

Again, I couldn’t believe it.  I thought


When I work with people in therapy, I suggest they remember to answer that question — if it comes up for them — like so:

Absolutely nothing.

I remembered to tell myself that, too, on Friday. I got on the train and made it to New York, wearing those less-than-ideal shoes.  As I described in yesterday’s post, I sang in the subway, wearing those less-than-ideal shoes. Soon after that, Jeanette and I visited a shoe store, where I remembered that I know my feet well enough to choose new comfortable shoes.  And those new shoes have served me well, here in NYC.


There’s one of the shoes, in that photo above, taken during our NYC travels yesterday. Two of the other shoes, in that picture, belong to Jeanette.

Those new shoes took me to several memorable places yesterday, including the location of the World Trade Center in NYC. I have not been there since 9/11/2001.  Jeanette and I went there yesterday, partly because it’s close to where we are staying.

Here are some photos I took, yesterday morning:


You can see One World Trade Center, there, as we approached the site.

Here are some more photos, from yesterday morning:








While I was taking in my surroundings, Jeanette pointed out the fire station, still in operation, right there:




I took many more photos yesterday, which I hope I remember to show you, in some future post.

For now, it’s time for one more day in NYC.

Thanks to Jeanette, to those who do their best with remembering and forgetting, to those who serve, and to you, especially, for visiting here, today.


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