Should Old Errors Be Forgot?
It being a New Year and all, I was going to write about New Year's Resolutions; making them, taking a shot at keeping them, then going right back into the same "auld lang syne" (the meaning of which I've never been too clear on, but I think it means "same old stuff"). But, then I realized that I don't really care about New Year's Resolutions. Not gonna' make them, not gonna' keep them, not gonna happen.
Don't get me wrong. I respect the New Year's resolution. I admire those of you who make them and bow down to those who've actually managed to keep one or two. They just don't seem to be my thing. I've tried all the ones people normally go for: losing weight, exercising more (or at all), practicing random acts of kindness. Unfortunately I tried them all in the same year and the results weren't pretty. I turned into an angry Mama who could barely walk and who spoke in an "exorcist voice" (as opposed to my "inside voice"). I was also not above using the old, "Look over there, honey, isn't that Mickey Mouse" rouse to steal a fry from an unwitting five-year-old.
New Year's resolutions aside, there is something I would like to try in 2011. I'd like to reprogram my brain, so I can forget about some of my life's most embarrassing moments. Wouldn't that be incredible if you could forget about the time you walked into the men's room by mistake, or stop re-living the time you drove away from the gas station with the nozzle still inserted in your gas tank? (Yes, I've done both of these things.)
But, my brain won't let me change the firing pattern on those synapses. My mind is like a steel trap when it comes to holding onto my life's most embarrassing moments. Yet, when it comes time to remember something important like, say, my blood type, all my brain lets me recall is the fact that my blood type has a letter in it.
It's a curse, this instant recall of life's most awkward moments; but it's also a gift. It's a gift in that I can remember every single time each one of my four children has done something to cause social discomfort. And, I can remind my children of their past faux pas at some opportune times. One comes to me looking for money; I just remind the child of the time she, at the age of three, emerged from the bathroom completely nude during a dinner party. Another wants to borrow the car; I launch into a reminiscence about the day when she, at the age of two-and-a-half, waltzed into the church nursery uttering a curse word. Recalling these special moments doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the request being made, but talking about these things is just plain fun!
So for those of you making New Year's resolutions – good luck with that. As for me and mine, we'll just hope there are no new gaffes for our brains to store away for future reference.