Cleared schedules and memory loss | Mark’s Remarks


I think we all might have been created with the innate ability to crave solitude and peace. And clear schedules.  

What do you think? As I grow older, I’m almost certain of it.

Have you ever had a list of things to do, yet suddenly had something canceled or changed? Your brain becomes scrambled and you lose the ability to remember or prioritize or comprehend.

Let me give an example.

Several years ago, Michelle and I were both dealing with work schedules, kids and various sports schedules, church stuff and meetings here and there.  Most nights, we’d have at least one or two things to take care of. We spent a lot of time getting things straight in our heads and even then, we’d remind one another of things and sometimes get annoyed if the other one didn’t remember something.

One evening, a group of teachers was supposed to appear at a school function and sing a little ditty to celebrate the retirement of a staff member.  This group had gathered several times after school to rehearse and plan.

Early on the evening of the event, it rained. In those days, and especially during baseball season, a good soaking rain could totally derail or free up your evening.

In this case, the rain canceled not one, but two baseball practices. Even though we had planned the night several days before, we suddenly thought we had not a care in the world.  It was like our personal computers rebooted with a flashing “cleared schedule” before us.

I remember we even ordered pizza, suddenly looking forward to a quiet evening – our schedule cleared as rain still fell outside.

Fast forward to Monday morning. I was sitting at school, getting ready for students and suddenly remembered the song, the retirement, and the fact I’d completely forgotten the singing engagement.

I never showed up. I completely forgot about it.

Since then, Michelle and I have had similar issues when something in our day got canceled. We’ve called one another in a panic, our conversations usually starting with “Where are you?” and then pleading with the other to bail us out.  

It doesn’t happen often but has occurred just enough to embarrass us and make us hope the perfectionist people in our lives never find out. 

You know the type, don’t you? We all have them: people who hear our stories of forgetfulness and liken such behavior to sloth and bubble headedness. They are the ones who “tsk, tsk” in disgust and wonder what is wrong with us.

Until, of course, it happens to them.

I wonder what it will be like someday when we have only a few things on our plate. 

I read one of my retired friends’ Facebook posts the other day. She had posted her “to do” list for the day, which consisted of eating lunch with a friend and catching up on housework. Then she added, “An exciting life I lead.”

Look, many of us would welcome such excitement.

Still, forgetting things that have been scheduled and planned out is somewhat disturbing and makes me wonder if such things will continue to happen once in a while.

Plus, I’m sure there will be plenty of advice coming my way. I’m sure there will be people telling me there’s technology or an app that could solve this issue.

I’ll tell you what: I’ll explore such options if it happens again within a six-month time span.  

I’ll keep you posted.

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