Being forgetful is actually a sign you are unusually intelligent. Phew!

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Being forgetful is actually a sign you are unusually intelligent. Phew!

Some very good news indeed with scientists saying being forgetful is actually a sign you are unusually intelligent. Phew!

If forgetfulness is based on intelligence, then I am pretty much a genius! I attribute having babies for wiping out my memory for much of the past 8 years of my life. I often joke that I have felt drunk for the best part of a decade with many memories fuzzy to say the least.

My youngest baby is now 4 years old so I am not sure how much longer I can hang on to this as an excuse for my forgetfulness. Perhaps I am just really bad at keeping all the balls in the air because there is too much information we all have swirling around our head in the lousy hours of the day we have been given to keep many worlds turning. Before 8 am I have given hundreds of instructions and directed 4 lives by making breakfast, ensuring each kid eats breakfast, begging each kid to take their bowl to the sink, repeating my request to take the dish to the sink, barking orders for teeth to be brushed teeth, hair to be combed and shoes to be found and put on the right feet!

This is usually done while answering 235 questions and then the day begins that can include a varied schedule such as getting the kids to swimming lessons, paying bills, buying birthday party gifts, remembering to dress for work, trying hard to act in control at work, remembering to phone mum, remembering to book that doctor’s appointment, remembering to phone back a friend who called me 3 weeks ago and kicking myself for forgetting to buy Glad Wrap.

And do not get me started on how many numbers and passwords are in our heads: the kid’s passwords, my work passwords, pin numbers for banking, security codes for work, the list goes on and on and on. No wonder I end up at the shops and I cannot remember what I am meant to be buying. Last week I went for cheese for homemade pizzas for dinner and spent $300 on groceries only to drive home without any cheese. I had forgotten the main ingredient of the pizza! Well, some relief!

A new study that was done by the Neuron Journal says that forgetting is part of the brain process that might actually make you smarter by the time the day is over. Professors took part in the study and found the perfect memory does not actually reflect your level of intelligence. Even more exciting is the finding that when you forget details it can even make you smarter. It all has to do with remembering the big picture compared to the little details.

Remembering the big picture is better for our brain and for our safety. It is kind of like dumping a whole stack of photos and apps from your phone to help it work better. Our brain is the same. The hippocampus (how cool is this name for the part of the brain where memories are stored) gets rid of small details.

So in my case that usually means names of people I meet or friend’s birthdays! The research shows when the brain becomes cluttered with too many memories they tend to fight with each other and that slows down our ability to make important decisions. So rest easier tonight that if you are forgetful you are in an elite club of intelligent Coasties. Now. What was it again that I was I meant to buy for dinner tonight?

Sami xx

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