Sep 14, 2008

Fearful Forgetting

Liz is away, so this is Terry Deighton taking her place.

I almost forgot to post this blog. "I forgot and I don't care mean the same thing," my husband would say. He is fond of repeating this maxim to me and the kids. I, for one, do not agree with him on this point. I did care about the eggs I left on the stove, all day, on Wednesday. I care about the wasted electricity, the ruined eggs, and I care about the smell that still permeates the house. Most of all, I care that the house could have burned down.
I care about fulfilling my commitment to Liz to post a blog today. I care about getting my WIP finished and out there to publishers. I care about having my husband's white shirt washed before he needs it. I care about sending home the flyers the office gave me that my students are supposed to show their parents. I care about all kinds of things that I forget, so why do I forget them? My husband would say that I don't care enough. Maybe there's something to that. I let other things that seem urgent crowd out what is important. I need to learn to stop and think before I act. I need to ask myself if there is something more important I should be doing than watching TV or playing computer games. Maybe I should post signs around my house. They could say: Stop! What are you forgetting? The key would be to actually stop, read the signs, and think instead of letting the junk in my head distract me from seeing what is in front of me.
There is another reason I forget things. It is more sinister than the brain cloud described in the previous paragraph. Somewhere, lurking in my brain, there is a little creature who makes me forget things that scare me. I hate making phone calls because I am afraid I'll say the wrong thing or say something stupid, so I forget to make them. I am afraid to send my book to a publisher because I am afraid it will be rejected, so I forget to work on it. I am afraid of failure, so I forget to try new things. I wonder what kind of sign I could put up to help me wipe out fear?
Maybe it could say: Stop! Forget Your Fear and Move Forward! After all, I'm good at forgetting!


  1. You bring up that whole faith vs. fear gospel principle. We are all afraid of something, nothing we're afraid of is small or silly to us, but I have found fear flies when faith endures. Work on the faith end of it, and the fear will disappear. I only say this because I've tried it and it works.

  2. Terri said exactly what I was thinking. I try to remember to recite that mantra from the hymn: Fear departs when faith endures. That is what is pushing me to keep going forward with writing my novel. I think besides the fear of failure there is also an element of fear of success and what that might mean for us. There are so many scriptures to help us with this, especially that we are not given the spirit of fear, but given faith...doesn't it go something like that?

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I love your post, Terry! I agree that "not caring" and "forgetting" do not equate. Especially as you get older (like me!), it seems there are just so many things going on in my head that I can't keep track of them all, no matter how hard I try. I literally walk into a room now, stop and say to myself, "I know I came in here for a purpose. I just can't remember what it was!" After many frustrating experiences, I have finally learned to simply say, "Heavenly Father, if I came in here for something important, please remind me what it was because I honestly can't remember! Otherwise, I'm going to assume it's not that important and just not worry about it." Sometimes I have actually left the room and started something else before He reminds me, but if I needed to do something important, then He truly does eventually remind me what it was before it's "too late".

    That, of course, works for spur of the moment needs. If I know I need to do important things in advance (like phone calls, which absolutely terrify me, too!), I have to write it down on a "to do" list, so I don't have the excuse of "forgetting", no matter how much I want to. In other words, I try to do as much as I can to help my own foggy memory, then rely on the Lord to help me remember those things I can't remember to write down!

    I agree with the fear vs faith discussion, too. Can't put that part better than has already been said!

  5. Thanks for subbing for me, Terry. Great post! I for one think that the creative mind is a forgetfui mind--too busy on the thought at hand to remember the previous one. You definitely have a creative mind. Celebrate it


Thank you for visiting. Feel free to comment on our blogger's posts.*

*We do not allow commercial links, however. If that's not clear, we mean "don't spam us with a link to your totally unrelated-to-writing site." We delete those comments.