Why Do I Do That Thing That I Hate?

People frequently ask me how I can write a blog nearly every day. Don’t you hate having to write that often?

The answer is no. I love to write. What makes it difficult is coming up with something interesting to say six days a week. I live a pretty quiet and uninteresting life. Sometimes I will come up with a idea in the middle of the night. Or maybe something will catch my eye at the grocery store. I like to tell myself that when I sit down that afternoon to write, I will quickly recall the idea and the words will flow from my fingers like ketchup from a bottle. What happens in real life is that I sit down and can’t for the life of me recall my brilliant idea.

So I recently decided I would write down my idea in a notebook even when I’m certain I will remember it. Because as much as the truth hurts, I don’t remember things like I used to. Or really at all. As I’ve aged, my brain is apparently beginning to look like Swiss cheese, except for my childhood telephone numbers.

So, when I got ready to write this blog, I recalled that I had written down a great idea I had for a post. I happily opened my notebook, and here is what I had written down:

Why do I do that thing that I hate?

What the hell, I thought to myself. What thing do I hate? I hate hypocrisy. I hate arrogance. I hate winter. I hate eggplant. I hate war. I hate the Las Vegas Raiders, but not as much as I used to when they were in Oakland.

But what exactly was it that I was thinking about when I suggested that idea to myself? I remember clearly writing down the idea. But I have no recollection to what I was referring. Clever ideas aren’t clever when you don’t remember what the clever idea was.

I thought about this recently when I decided I needed to sharpen one of my well-used and well-loved knives. I have a small knife sharpener that I have kept in the same place in the pantry for 10 years or more. I walked to where I have kept that sharpener all these years, and it wasn’t there. And then I remember thinking last summer that it really wasn’t in a great place, and I should move it to __________ because that would make much more sense. Except I can’t remember where __________ is. Therefore, my knife sharpener is missing in action.

I’m not the only one in my family who has made this type of tactical error. Many years ago, my sister Bec had a little remote control that she kept in a pencil container alongside her pencils. One day, she decided that was a silly place to keep the remote control. Like me, she put the remote control in a much more “sensible” spot. Except the remote control has been missing since that very moment because she can’t for the life of her remember where she put it.

It’s her very own version of why do I do the thing that I hate.

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