Why Say “I Forgot” When You Really Just Remembered?

I realized at some point in my life that I was saying “I forgot,” when I could be saying “I remembered.”

The majority of the times I realize I have forgotten something, it’s because I am remembering it, as opposed to somebody else remembering for me.

I thought it would be better to acknowledge my memory for all the things it was remembering, instead of constantly harping on it for all the things it was forgetting.

“I forgot my keys at the party,” became “I just remembered I left my keys at the party.”

“I forgot to call the doctor,” became “I just remembered I need to call the doctor.”

I can still forget where I put something, or how to do something; even then, I often remember where I last had it, or remember that I used to know how to do it even if some of the details are currently fuzzy.

I think my memory has responded — like a dog who loves praise, it wriggles in delight when I thank it for remembering so much, and gets better and better at remembering more things in a timelier fashion.

Humans are natural amnesiacs — most of us forget every morning what our dream selves were doing last night, and our dream selves rarely remember about their body sleeping in a bed somewhere. We forget way more of our day-to-day lives than we remember. We have to discard most of the sensory input we’re receiving before it reaches a conscious level. So I think it’s pretty miraculous my memory remembers as much as it does!

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