trait

365 Challenge: Day 51 – Retentive

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Retentive: having the ability to remember facts and impressions easily

As I thought about the best word to describe the characteristic to share today, I was a bit stumped. The goal was to converse about my memory; sometimes it is fantastic, but at others, it is very peculiar. I am definitely not forgetful, especially when it comes to tasks, events, responses; yet, there are things of importance in my past that one would think I’d easily recall, but I do not.

I took an alternative path to locating today’s word. I entered “forgetful” into the Google search field and then selected “antonym.” A few words popped up, none of which felt right except for possibly “retentive.” And when I looked up the definition, it seemed most appropriate, as facts are what I am good at remembering. Feelings and actions are what fail to come easily for me.

My memory is very strong in a wide range of areas, especially if numbers are involved.

  • I have been known to recall the date and hour of something happening from years ago, even if it seemed like a minor event, e.g. normal dinner with friends at a restaurant where we talked about fishing.
  • I can tell you the amount due on my electric bills for the last two years for almost every month in that period.
  • I recall interesting facts about things I’ve briefly studied but have little interest in.
  • I know where people sat at a dinner in a restaurant from years ago.
  • I recall people’s names even when I only knew them for a short period of time over twenty years ago.

But then there are times when I am a bit worried that there’s something wrong with me:

  • I forget the word I need to use, or I simply say the wrong word. And it doesn’t even sound anything like the word I meant to say.
  • I recall very little about my childhood and have maybe only 10 memories prior to 13 years old.
  • I cannot remember going to see certain plays or shows, movies, restaurants or museums, even when I liked them.

When I step back to analyze this as a whole, I see a few things in common, but also a few things that don’t add up. I’m not really sure if there is a pattern, but I am a little worried about the future. It doesn’t seem like I have any sort of early signs id an illness, as I have very strong memories for things in the past and the current, so it’s not short-term or long-term loss. I forget things I like and dislike. I remember things both important and not important. So… what gives?

I’m not a doctor or subject matter expert, as I’ve noted in these posts before. And as much as I am concerned, I haven’t gone to a doctor or done any research mostly because it’s only been a minor impact and hasn’t seemed too intrusive. Plus, some people get a kick out seeing me recite information from years ago or forget what I’m trying to say. And I enjoy amusing others, even at my own expense.

It’s not a photographic memory, nor is is some sort of associative game I play to retain information. I’m good at things like the “Memory” game, but not exceptional. I’d suggest it was the aging process, but it’s been like this for a fairly long time (10+ years).

Why it’s good

  • I can blame it when I don’t remember something or forget someone.
  • I tend to forget when someone annoys me.
  • I get things done more quickly and don’t often repeat mistakes.

Why it’s not good

  • I am forgetting things I want to remember.
  • I’m afraid it may get worse.
  • I don’t like looking silly in front of strangers.

All in all, nothing to raise the flag about. And I bring it up today as it gives others insight into what’s going in my mind sometimes. Or maybe someone might have a suggestion or two on what could be happening… or perhaps we are all like this and I’m just thinking it’s only me. Yikes, what an ego I have. 😛

Anyone care to point me in the right direction, i.e. (a) am I losing my mind or (b) just go with it and I may find it makes the day more fun?

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 34 – Judgmental

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Judgmental: having or displaying an excessively critical point of view

Today is gonna be a tough one… while I will be honest in everything I include in my post, I wonder (now as I begin writing this) how much I will actually reveal versus holding back any thoughts. I know I shouldn’t hold back, but conveying what one means without looking like a jerk, in a small amount of words on these posts, is difficult.

Judgmental could mean biased. Judgmental could mean racist. Judgmental could mean critical. In sticking with the definition I first found when I went to Google, I will address my nature to be critical… perhaps excessively critical… when it comes to standards. While I am very impartial when it comes to listening and hearing people out before I make decisions, there is a part of me that is very judgmental when it comes to comparing someone else to myself. And to be honest, it is probably my absolute worst characteristic.

Ever since I was a small boy, I have had incredibly high standards for most things in my life. I’ve also allowed those expectations and standards to be applied to the people in my life, whether you are a close friend or family member, a colleague, or someone new I meet. Having high standards is a good thing most of the time. But unfortunately, I often set the standard so high that few, if any, can meet it. And we all know that leads to disappointment… and judgment. My philosophy had always been you should do what I want and I should do what you want. Whaaaat??????

Over the years, I’ve whittled down this trait; however, many years ago, as the perfectionist I was (am?), I felt I could do no wrong and I was the best. I was not my school’s valedictorian. I did not win major awards. So Captain Obvious should have known better. But when it came to behaviors… to being fair, kind, consistent, thoughtful, orderly, structured, engaged… I always thought I knew best. And I wouldn’t stop there. In my head, never outwardly to someone, I’d silently judge others for not living up to those high standards and expectations. My thought pattern: “If I can do it this way, and I know better, so should you.” What an A$$hole I could be!

I’d like to say it was in the vain of wanting people to be the best, and maybe it is now; however, in the past, a small part of me was happy to know that I did something better and that I had achieved a higher sphere of thinking. Sick, I know. I’d slap myself for you, if I could. But in my defense, I really tried to do the right thing and be as good as I could be, and I also wanted everyone else to be that way, too. It wasn’t purely a negative aspect… I was critical because I cared enough to want things to be right. Or “right” as in how I saw them. Wasn’t always reality.

It certainly made things difficult for me. Relationships ended. Or never began. I’d meet someone, start talking, (s)he’d say something I thought was wrong and I was done. I’d judged the person over minutia.

Perhaps he said he didn’t like mystery books. Or she said she’d never go to Hawaii. Silly little things, snap judgment on my part… and I’d move on. And in a relationship, if the other person didn’t have an equal level of contribution, or perhaps dated more people in the past than I had… I was super critical over the whole thing. Few could meet my standards.

My mother called me out for this a lot. She’d tell me I’d end up alone if I couldn’t learn to be tolerant and forgive. If I couldn’t be more open-minded about people’s different ways of doing things. She’d throw 1 or 2 things at me that I’d done incredibly wrong or when I’d been foolish… helping me realize I wasn’t all that perfect.

As the years have gone by, I am a lot less judgmental. But there’s still part of me that will have an immediate reaction to something, and because it’s different than what I believe or know, I am critical and judgmental of them or the situation. Admitting it has been good for me. Recognizing my faults has been helpful. Growing older can make you less sensitive over these things. In the end, I leave this post with one thought for which I could be judged.

Despite everything I’m saying and that I’ve learned, I am still judgmental over certain things. And as hard as I’ve controlled my thoughts and reactions, keeping them internal now, I am still embarrassed over it. But I am smart enough to know it is a small piece of who I am, and over time, it becomes less and less. Yet even more importantly, I am not a hypocrite — as there is no one I am more critical over than myself. And since I fairly dish out that judgment equally to myself and others, perhaps it’s not so bad if I hold myself to the same standards as I hold everyone else:

“Be good people. Do unto others as you would want done on to you. Apply the Golden Rule.”

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post.

365 Challenge: Day 23 – Short

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Short: measuring a small distance from end to end, lasting or taking a small amount of time

Today’s characteristic has many meanings, all of which can be negative or positive, depending on, of course, what action or noun it is being applied to… to help keep this post short (oh, I am funny!), I’m only going to consider it when discussing my height. And since you really can’t tell from any pictures you’ve seen of me, the answer is… drum roll…

I’m 5’7″ tall, which by most means places me in the short category. Per Wikipedia, the average male height in the U.S. is 5’9″ tall. So short it is… but when you take a step backwards and consider the whole spectrum, I’m really not too far off the middle average. And depending on the crowd of people I’m with, I can still be one of the taller ones. Generally, I feel a little shorter than most people around me, so this isn’t a surprise.

Why is it good?

  • I easily fit into smaller spaces.
  • I just miss hitting my head on the airplane and train upper storage bins.
  • I can hide more easily.

Why is it bad?

  • I can’t see the main stage at concerts, theatre shows, movies, etc. Someone’s head is always bobbing in my way.
  • Clothes never fit right. Smalls are too small and mediums are too big. Shirts always fall too far below my waist. And then I need to go custom for some things or just accept it will always look a little too tight or baggy.
  • People assume you’re weaker or less intimidating. (I’ll ignore this for today as I’ll be posting another day about my strength — I spend lots of time in the gym, so I’m a solidly-packed little powerhouse).
  • I can’t reach the top shelf in the kitchen and refuse to take the extra 30 seconds to get a step stool. So I hop up on to the counter, bang my knees, and then grab whatever I need. And putting it back on the shelf is a whole lotta craziness. If it’s not glass, I’ll throw it in the hopes it makes it safely. I tend to have good aim from years of baseball as a kid.

I’m sure there are more reasons why it is good and why it is bad, but I wanted it to be the first things that come to mind. I’m trying to keep these posts down to less than 30 minutes per day so that I’m using my time wisely. And finding clips, images and formatting is not always easy!

If I had a option to change, I’d want to be a few inches taller, perhaps 6′ feet tall.

  • It’s a round number which I like.
  • It easily rolls off the tongue.
  • I’d rather have my clothes fit more accurately, as it helps with shopping and appearance.
  • I’d be able to reach most things with less impacts.

While appearance isn’t always the primary driver for me, it absolutely is in this case. Even though being taller would help with some things, my preference comes from vanity and less from practicality.

What would you choose?  Taller, Shorter or Exactly the way you are?  Come on, Goldilocks… start sharing!