Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Time warped

It occurred to me  the other day that I have no concept of time.

I don't mean that I am constantly late to events or appointments. I pride myself on being on time and often am early. I blame this on growing up in a family that was consistently late for everything. We just couldn't get it together. I learned to take a book with me if I went to anywhere so  I'd have something to read while waiting for my mom to pick me up.

What I lack is a sense of when things happened.

I told a friend Sunday that I had recently seen a mutual acquaintance.

"Oh, no, dear, you couldn't have," she said, looking worried. "He re-married and moved  away over a year ago."

Okay, then, not so recently.

Some people can tell you the exact hour and day and year of any event in their life. They are not just gifted, they are a little eerie. But most people can tell  you at least the year in which something of importance happened.

Not me.

I discovered when going through our wedding photos some 10 years after the ceremony that Jim and I had been celebrating our anniversary a week late.

I do remember my boys' birthdays. I remember the grandchildren's birthdays, although for eight years I remembered the wrong day for the youngest. 

I remember the day of the Big Snowfall, but only because it coincided with the first day of the 21st century.

You'd think I'd remember the year Hurricane Hugo struck, but I don't.

I don't remember what year I said "I quit" and retired.

Is this a dire defect? Should I take a remedial course or go into counseling?

Or should I just accept that my mental calendar has dates like "That was when I was working at the newspaper" or "We lived in Pennsylvania then."

I think exact dates are only important if you are writing an autobiography, which I don't plan to do. Or in your obituary.

In which case, someone else can look it up.


  1. Love your post! And I'm with you - have no clue when something happened, only know where I lived at the time. Maybe it's some form new form of conceptual memory?

  2. I'm just like you, Sandy. With each passing year, I can't remember what I did the previous one.