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I have a memory leak

February 11, 2010

I was on the phone with my sister the other day. I called her, with a purpose. I called her specifically to tell her something. It seemed pretty important, at the time it popped into my mind. The “something I wanted to tell her” was in my head as I dialed the phone. It was at the tip of my tongue when she answered and started to tell me all about her crazy day. I remember smiling, thinking to myself how funny she was going to think “the something I wanted to tell her” was. And about the time she finished sharing her news, the “something” completely left my mind.

“So, what’s up,” she asks me.

Gone. Nada. Empty. I had nothing. We spent the next 10 minutes going through a list of ideas of what the “something” could be related to. Painfully, she tried to prompt me into remembering what I could possibly have thought was so compelling (and funny) that I would miss several American Idol auditions just so I could share my news. But nothing.

The next day I was talking to my husband about the issues I was having with my laptop.

“Sounds like you have a memory leak,” he says.

A  memory leak, in case you wanted to know, is a particular type of memory consumption by a computer program where the program is unable to release memory it has acquired. According to Wikipedia, a memory leak can diminish the performance of the computer by reducing the amount of available memory. 

It was at that moment that it became clear: I have a memory leak. It all made sense to me. My brain has reached its memory capacity and because there is no longer available space to hold my everyday thoughts, I am unable to release information that becomes stored there.  It explains so many things.

I can’t be held responsible for forgetting to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer anymore. How am I to remember that I put them in the washer in the first place? And that incident with the dog? Well, nevermind…I just forgot, okay? I have a memory leak.

What scares me most is this warning: Eventually, in the worst case, too much of the available memory may become allocated and all or part of the system or device stops working correctly, the application fails, or the system slows down unacceptably. I’ve found myself forgetting more and more lately (they say it happens more with older versions), and wonder if it will get to the point where I won’t be able to release any of my stored memories. Maybe that’s the way it should be? The grand plan?

For now, I’m grateful for the small things: that Facebook prompts me one of my friends is celebrating a birthday; that evite sends out reminders when I accept a party invitation;  the nice lady from the Kidney Foundation calls me the night before to remind me I’m supposed to leave a bag of clothing on the front step in the morning (even though I’ve forgotten the next morning 4 out of 5 times this past year); and my children, who still have plenty of memory space and have no trouble reminding me (and anyone else who will listen) of my memory lapses.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2010 4:54 pm

    Gwen, I have EXACTLY what you have….but I call it “DATA DUMP.” I think of my head as an old computer that only holds so many gigabits. When I’m over the limit, the data, dumps….and I cannot be responsible for a computer that throws me into fits of confusion, can I?

    I hear you, my friend. We’re together on this one!

  2. Judy Patterson permalink
    February 11, 2010 5:38 pm

    Cute, Gwen, great analogy, and boy, can I relate! You call them memory leaks, I call the brain farts! Thanks for the smiles.


  3. February 11, 2010 8:12 pm

    Love it, love it, love it…oh…what was I going to say?

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