Olathe & Southwest Joco

A mother’s sad tale of a full brain hard drive

Stacey Hatton feels as if the years have caused her brain to resemble this computer screen.
Stacey Hatton feels as if the years have caused her brain to resemble this computer screen. Courtesy photo

Back in the day, I had no problem remembering general trivia or events. I’m fairly sure my memory was spectacular, but I won’t bet money on it because I truly can’t remember.

I do remember as a child, waiting in a single-file line after recess. We’d somewhat quietly wait until it was our chance to get a slurp of water. This was always following our mandatory bathroom break.

Studying for tests in junior high seemed easy without much studying. Plus, I knew most kids’ names in my grade, and in a snap, I could spout out which Girl Scout cookie was my favorite.

But that was back (cough, cough) years ago, and I’m not positive which box I preferred. Was I on team Thin Mint or Lemon Cream?

Over the years, my short-term memory has been going downhill. Is this the beginnings of dementia or a normal aging mind? I’m 95 percent certain some of my memory problem is from killing too many brain cells in college. Or was it when I came down with an indefinite case of Momnesia?

As a spirited and indecisive adult, every decade I change my career.

When I was in my 20s, my brain was filled with lines from play scripts and musicals. Lyrics to every song I performed, and important people and works of art in the entertainment industry were tucked away for easy retrieval. Who won the Oscar in 1988 for best picture? I don’t know, but I sure used to.

I’ve mentioned before (I think) that after retiring from the stage, I went to nursing school. By the second semester my brain was maxed out. Memorizing every microscopic part of the human body and understanding the mechanics of it was fine for a young, fresh brain. But I was neither young nor fresh-brained.

The following 10 years of pediatric nursing was enough, so it was time to birth and raise some babies. Since then I’ve worked as a full-time mom and writer, which brings me up-to-date.

Momdom and word pontification have been the most rewarding professions so far. Nevertheless, I’m critically maxed out.

Most days I can make it to the coffee pot in the morning; but I rarely call my own children or pets by their right names and rarely do I retain what’s on the family calendar for the entire day.

I joke about my mind being full, but could this really happen? Is my mind literally at full capacity so my cerebral hard drive is unable to save any more data? How I wish I could save some space and download some information to the iCloud, wherever that is.

Plus, my “computer” sometimes is slow, sluggish or freezes. It’s like when you attempt to add another drop of water to a fully soaked sponge and it won’t absorb more. I hope my brain is not maxed out. I’ve got a lot of living to do.

So to all the brain researchers out there, please sign me up for a new memory card. Or put out an instructional video on how to do a brain re-boot. Maybe a control-alt-delete for the mind? Or is there a way to go through my history files and delete the unimportant stuff? Who cares if I remember all the phone numbers of my friends from elementary school?

I would like to pitch a reality television show, based on TLC’s “Clean Sweep” called “Brain Hoarders.” Psychologists would be there to help folks purge excess information from their brains, into piles labeled “trash it,” “sell it” or “write about it.”

I’d pay big money to get on that show.

Stacey Hatton, when not trying to solve the world’s problems, can be reached at laughingwithkids@yahoo.com.