I was in the grocery store today, and I bumped into a former co-worker. I did not recognize her, but I smiled as we passed in the aisle, and she recognized me. It has been years since I last saw her, and she was with her granddaughter. They had just come from the movies together. I know I'm almost sixty years old, but I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that my friends and I are old enough to be grand parents. I know people who were grand parents in their forties, so I know it's possible. I am still surprised every once in a while when reality rattles me, and for some reason, this "jarred my preserves".
I've learned that the best way for me to get to the bottom of things is to ask myself "why" four or five times. Why didn't I recognize her?? We have both changed a lot since we worked together, and yet she remembered me. I wonder how many other times, I've been too preoccupied to notice my surroundings. I decide to try and stay in the moment more. If the truth be told, many people look familiar to me. I cannot be sure if they are parents of Matt's school friends, or if they work in one of the local businesses. My usual response is to just be friendly and polite to everyone, just in case. I'd rather be safe, than sorry. I take a minute to recall the times I've approached an old friend who needed me to refresh their memory.
OK then, what is the solution?? What can I take away from this experience?? I rule out that I'm worried that I'm starting to forget names and faces. By the time we had finished our conversation, I had remembered her name, and her husband's name. She asked about my Matt, but her oldest son's name is also Matt. I now can recall the color of her house, and a project we worked on together. Whew, that's a relief! I begin to relax a little bit. I realize that I've had a knot in my stomach all afternoon. I know that a good memory is a skill, and that it only gets better when it is exercised and maintained.
This week, I'll try and remember at least three things about everyone I encounter. I'll also set three goals that I'll try and accomplish before I turn sixty in December. Instead of worrying about getting older, I'll relax and focus on the present. When I take care of today, tomorrow will take care of itself...and the beat goes on....the beat goes on.......