Because my hair is thick and wavy, I blow dry my hair with my head upside down. I learned this trick from my cousin Wendy, a childhood best friend and a professional hair stylist.
“Never dry your hair from the top down,” she told me years ago.
Since then I have followed her advice. Although that comment came, I’d guess thirty years ago, I still have Wendy pop into my head when I do this routine task. Not too long ago I called her when this happened to share with her that I was thinking of her.
My Aunt Rita is another person who I learned a lot from. I lived with my aunt and her brood many times throughout my life. I'm sure I've never told her this stuff, but it was from her that I learned how to put on a bra and shave my legs. And nothing brings back sweet memories more than a meal of pork chops, rice with gravy, and applesauce. That was one of the meals Aunt Rita made and when I make it I am taken back to those days living with their large family and being counted as one of them.
The many dishes I make that I learned from watching my grandmother make the loss of her in 1998 a little less sad.
Eating a cucumber fresh from my garden reminds of my big brother, Mike. I visited him at his home in Gowanda, New York many years ago and he proudly plucked one of these vegetables from his own garden and convinced me to take a bite, even though it hadn’t been peeled. It was the delicious! Now, I wash, not peel my own organic vegetables. It was Michael, again, that I think of every time I shower with Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap.
Then, there are the memories I wish I could banish from my mind and consciousness. Sometimes I can’t figure out why they crop up when they do. Why is it that I always think of a woman I had a particularly deep conflict with when I am emptying the dishwasher? Why, when I’m in the garden pulling weeds do I think of the man who caused my family such distress? I can only conclude they come up when they do because those were the locations where I spent time contemplating the problem and looking for solutions.
These are just a couple of examples of incessant thoughts that come uninvited into my head that I find, if I don’t acknowledge them and replace them with happy thoughts, I obsess over. There are some more that are much too personal to share here, but I will say they pop up at the worst times and those are the ones I wish I could banish forever.
For a while, I really thought I was going crazy because I couldn’t control the thoughts. Having songs play over and over in my head give me the same feeling. A little research proves I'm not nuts- that phenomenon is called "earworms!" When these negative thoughts and reruns get stuck in my head, I have had to come up with methods to rid myself of them. Whenever they make an appearance, I overpower them with affirmations that I repeat over and over. It might sound like I am nuts, but I have to say the trick works.
If having to deal with some unpleasant memories is the price I have to pay to keep all of those wonderful ones in my mind, I am glad to do it. Hey, I’m just thrilled that I still have memory recall; to me, losing my memories would be as horrible as losing my sight.
What are your memory triggers?
“A moment lasts all of a second,
but the memory lives on forever.”
but the memory lives on forever.”