Friday, May 23, 2008

In praise of the "Senior Moment"

I needed to make a note of something while driving this morning. I reached for the pen and paper in the spare cupholder (Why do they think you need so many cupholders in a Volkswagen Beetle? But that's another story.) And I saw that there was a nice pile of quarters in there too.

This was kind of annoying, because I knew that recently I had decided not to go someplace by car because I checked my wallet and didn't have any change for the meter. Obviously I'd forgotten the clever pile of quarters I'd installed for this very purpose.

In another incident: I keep electronic copies of all my published writing. Recently I decided that just keeping them on two or three home computers wasn't good enough. What if the house burns down, or the computers are stolen, or they all give each other a horrible virus?

So I decided to upload them all to the web for safekeeping until I had time to make a proper website for my writing. I started copying them... and immediately started getting that message "Filename already exists, do you want to replace?"

Um. Yeah. I'd already copied everything up to the web for safekeeping and forgotten about it.

Now, most people, when this sort of thing happens, think it's a sign that their mind is deteriorating. But here's how I look at it:

When you are older, you have lots of stuff in your brain. You've had a long time to collect wonderful things. So of course it's harder to locate any one item, just like if you have lots of stuff in your closet, or a drawer.

When you're young, sure it's easy to remember stuff. When you're twenty, there's hardly anything in there. So there are fewer things to choose from, and fewer things to get in the way that you have to rummage about in. Of course you can quickly find anything - It's so bare in there, you can see everything you've got from across the room.

So, would you really want to trade all that great stuff you've got stored in your brain for a big empty space, just so it would be easier to find things? Of course not.

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