S4 E18 - 2:27:22, 3.00 PM
8:01PM Feb 27, 2022
Lee Skallerup Bessette
Welcome, everyone, to this week's episode of the all the things ADHD podcast with Lee and Amy. This week is part two of our conversation on memory, and remembering and forgetting, and why we remember some things and not others. And how Amy and I ended up in Hawaii together and didn't know it because we didn't know each other yet to same conferences. And then we spend the last almost half an hour trying to end the podcast, and then laughing hysterically. So I hope you enjoy this second part of our conversation. As always, I am ready writing on Twitter and Amy is did you want on Twitter, and you can always email us at all the things email@example.com I hope you enjoy the rest of the episode. Can I just say though, like in terms of like routine, and working memory, from the pandemic and not traveling? Like I literally don't remember how to do this.
I know. Right? Like I'm
like, How do I book a flight? What do I do with the hotel? What's the after register for the conference? Thank goodness, these conferences want your registration money because they keep sending you email reminders. Because if not, like I would just go on the
program unless you pay your registration by this date. You're like, oh, shit, I did not do
Oh, I did not do that. Or like, what is paying registration? Like, what's the what's a conference program anymore? Like, who? Who cares? It's all online. No, no, I'm going to be there. Oh, shit. Okay, so I got to do stuff. And I mean, I had one little practice round of that where it was, you know, I didn't have to register for anything. And it was, but I didn't have to book a flight. And I didn't have to book a hotel. And that was weird. Um, but there wasn't a lot of choice. Right? It was like, this is the hotel you should vote for. All right. Um, you know, you're only staying there a day here your flights? Okay. Um, yeah, so it wasn't, it wasn't too bad. But this is there's like, it's in Rhode Island. And one of my daughter's online friends is there. And so she's really excited. And we have these, like, these companion passes that, you know, we've been accruing over the pandemic, and they've allowed to just go indefinitely in it. But, you know, we're not going to fly anywhere anytime soon. So it's like, Fine, come to Rhode Island for three days. I don't, you know, but, but again, it's like, Where's where's our SkyMiles? Number? And like, do we need a passport for this? And like, what kind of permission and like, how do I literally just like and that used to be routine, right? Doing all this stuff? It might not have been fun, right? Like, I'm gonna have to file reimbursement which I'll probably forget to do, because you know, paperwork. But like, even just the things like booking a flight, getting a hotel, like, I'm just like, stymied by it, and I just like putting it on my to do list and looking at it going, like, how do I do that? Yeah, I don't Yeah, that's
endemic. started, I was doing all this travel with the Trudeau foundation, I found I was because I was traveling so much, that it was almost like I was spending longer packing, unpacking and getting to and from the airport than I was spending traveling. And it was like, really spitting out. And I was like, trying to teach like my two classes at the time that I had not sort of designed with this travel in mind, because that was like I had just won this fellowship. And my mom was like, an end stages of her cancer. And that was very stressful. And I like was just bursting into tears all the time, about like, just trying to get everything packed. And so I bought, like, as a treat for myself this incredible bag, the travel Pro, elite spinner. And it took a weight off me not just because it has amazing spinning capacities. But because I also bought travel size, everything I travel size straightener for my hair, I got like, travel size of all my hair products and everything. And I just left them in the bag. Yeah, because that's how much I was traveling was that like to get everything out of the medicine cabinet and be like, Well, I gotta remember to bring these pills and I got to bring my earplugs. And I gotta make sure I have a shower cap because they don't sometimes have them at the hotel. And I got to make sure like, I even like pajamas. I just like would take them, bring them home, wash them put them back in the suitcase when I like unloaded my laundry. I was just like, because I was traveling so much that the amount of of executive function and working memory that I was like using to try to remember the things that I had to pack and then like having to go into all the different rooms of the house to get the things that I needed to pack and also this kind of like uniform Steve Jobs and Elizabeth style, but I was like, it needs to be like this, this and this. And then I can just mix and match all those pieces together. I'd rather have a tiny bag. Yeah, right with very few articles of clothing in it. So that also when I get there, I don't have to decide what I'm going to wear. You know, I don't want to have that many options. And it was Yeah. That was like my shtick was I just bought doubles.
Yeah, I was Gotta say yeah, I was like, did you just buy new things and pack them in a suitcase? And this is my travel. Yeah, I travel. Yeah, yeah. Yep. And that's it. What is it up in the air? The George Clooney movie where he flies everywhere to like fire people. Yeah. But I mean, that's basically what like his strategy, right? Like it was he didn't. It was the whole and he had it all worked out and optimized, right. Don't go into line behind families.
You know, that kind of stuff? It is. Yeah, right. Yeah, I had my stick going. And then I could just like float. Through my travel days, I was like, get the bag out of the attic. And my ID would already be in the bag. And like the things I needed, like my extra charger, I had extra charges already in the bag. And then I had a little list inside the bag, which was like, pack these things. But like, don't stay in the bag, like, you know, this pair of shoes and my computer, right? Like it was just, and then it just made it easier. So I didn't have to remember I had to think about it really hard once to make the list. And like it was it turned into a day like go by all the doubles of these things and make sure they fit in a bag that has to go through. You have to take out of your bag to put it through the security, whatever your liquids in the right size. Like it was a pretty miserable day to try to get it all organized. But then it meant every single time I had to go on a trip. I didn't have to remember a goddamn thing. Which was great, because there's nothing more stressful than being on the airplane and thinking. Oh my god, I couldn't bring a toothbrush writer. Oh my god, I'm pretty sure I didn't pack song. Right? So I don't want to think about that. I can't remember it. I know I'm gonna fail.
Oh my gosh, there's so many stories is my husband travels quite a bit. And we we have that basic routine, right? Like we have like the toilet. I have my travel toiletries bag, and it actually has like backup meds in it and a toothbrush that only travels and toothpaste travels and all that. And so whenever I travel, I just grab that and that goes in. But so we we would. Now we live closer to the airport. But for a long time we didn't live close to airports at all. And the most recent one snafu was we're driving the hour and plus because of frickin traffic on the 95 Yeah, you know, we're about halfway there. Or just before halfway there. My husband realizes he hasn't packed any shirts. No shirts. And so there's an outlet mall, just as we pull into the outlet mall. He runs into off Saks Fifth Avenue.
Oh my god. shirts. Yeah. Yeah, I went to a wedding once and we get there, we're getting dressed for the wedding. And he's like, I didn't pack a shirt. So he had to go find an emergency. Like he had the suit and the tie and fancy socks and the bulky pack everything except the shirt. He was like, Oh, I remember because it was like hanging up down in the basement. And I was gonna go get it. And then I didn't I didn't. And then I did it. I had to remember to do a thing that was slightly out of my usual routine. And I forgot right which is like, just so productive have so much stress for us. And if people think that we're we don't care, right that we miss the thing because we don't care. Or like they reminded us or we forgot like somebody's birthday or like, you know, even though like three weeks before you needed to do it, you remembered it. But when you had to do it you forgot or like it takes you 12 hours to do one load of laundry and no one else can use the machines because you keep forgetting or like you've left the vacuum in the living room for two days because you're like two swipes away from being done. But you're going to do it not now like like, it is unpleasant for us. I think to experience these things and it's unpleasant for us to walk through the world thinking I have probably pissed somebody off by forgetting something and I can't remember what it was that I probably forgot right? Do I owe a student an email? I probably do like you're poking the soft spots in your psyche saying it was in this domain right? Did I forget to do something for my husband did I forget to do something for my kid? Yeah, I think it was that I feel bad about that. So it must be something and then you just spin your wheels trying to think about what it is that you forgot you're like did I press the button on that I should go check I don't want to like if I did that I'm gonna waste five minutes going to do that but if I don't then it like and now you're you're burning through all of your executive function just trying to manage your own forgetfulness and and I like I bet you a lot of our listeners suffer with that too. And I think it's a source of deep shame for me that I can tell you so competent and I'm so smart and so clever but I do not remember to press the button on the washing machine
well and again there is also that that kind of gendered notion around it too and i mean i Doesn't look like it now cuz I got old but um, you know, I was a pretty light haired blonde growing up No,
you're dumb blonde routine.
Yeah. Oh, yeah. No, I was I was dumb. I was ditzy. I was and it just like and but and then you also got that but you're so smart. Right? Right. Because I want
your potential. Why don't you do your homework Lee I forgot that I even had what is homework what class is this? Why my course surname.
My poor son worked so hard to do the homework but then just forgets to put it in his bag.
Oh my god, you know, too. Yeah. And that's
so the other I'll tell the best one my favorite one for like just playing out forgetting and this is part at the part young parents part like so. And you know you're aware, you know this organization so I was accepted to speak at the IAEA, the International autobiography Association. And it was in Hawaii.
Yes, I went to that one. Oh, you did? Oh, God, it was amazing.
It was and so we were in Yep. You know, we were in Southern California. So it was a direct flight. I was still a grad student cuz I hadn't defended yet. And so they accepted me to talk about Danila for a year in his life writing and those kinds of things. And now I'm, oh, what's his face was speaking at it. Who does the autobiography in diaries, the French fedup version? Oh, speaking. And I do use lotion in my, you know, in my research, so I was so excited about that. But I got back to them. And I said, Well, grad student, they're like, We will pay for you to stay on campus. And we'll pay your registration. So all you have to pay for is the flight. And we'll even include breakfast in the cafeteria every
day. Yeah, that was a good deal. Yeah, like the box lunches and everything. Yeah, yeah.
Yeah. So we're like, fantastic. And, you know, my daughter was Cassie was still a lap child. We got this really great deal because it was before Hawaiian air went under. And so I think we both Bennish to fly round trip for like, $750 it was just like, incredible. Yeah, so but we are we are far inland and far away from LA x. So we're, you know, we get everything and we got the big suitcase, and we've got, you know, diaper bag and this and that and everything. And we're halfway to LA and we can't turn around and I'm like, crap, we forgot the pack and play. Oh, no, for the for the daughter to sleep. And we're staying on campus. So it's not like on campus is gonna have a pack and play that we just pay a little extra for. So we don't have to pack and play. We're like, alright, well, we'll figure it out. Yeah, we get to the conference. I realized I had brought because I hadn't, of course hadn't finished my presentation yet. Yes. I remembered all the books I needed. But forgot my laptop.
Oh, Jesus. Lee. So
yeah, so I had like, we hold all of these for your books, but no. And so yeah, we brought in again, in order to reduce the the amount of money we spent on checked baggage. We just brought one giant suitcase. And so we lined that with blankets. And that's what my daughter slept in, because she was falling off was like it was actually bigger than her drawer. So she slept in the suitcase. And I spent a couple of hours in the University of Hawaii library.
I remember everything about that conference, but not you. I don't think we knew each other. So I only meant to like 2010 or something.
No. Well then also like, to be honest. You know, I went to the keynote. I did my presentation. And then we just spent the rest of the time.
And I remember so much about that conference. I got a fossil purse there. Hobo bag and my favorite lime green. Yeah, it was on sale. I got at that mall, like down by Waikiki. They're too big mall. I remember the residents rooms like we were in the high rise tower residence. And it was like shared bathrooms down the hall. And I was like in this double room by myself. And it was like 1965 in building form I get and I had a balcony, my room had a balcony, which was wild. And it was just so hot. I remember I remember like the, I remember everything about you
remember the remember the birds. Evergreen, right at 6am when that sun came out, and the birds were just like, it's time to wake up.
I have been there twice because that's where the journal biography is based. Yeah, you know, my, my multi 100 citation thing was for that journal. And that was where we'd had that workshop where they bring all the authors from the special issue together for like five days to work on their papers together. It was the most amazing, collaborative experience I've ever had did not hurt that it was in Hawaii. Maybe not great that it was during a hurricane under emergency orders. But no, yeah, yeah, that was okay. Well, that's funny. We didn't see each other there. But now I know why. It's because like you were off on the beach. You remember like in the swag bag. I remember the swag bag lead because it had a sunvisor and I thought what a fucking flex. Like how many academic conferences do you go to? That is like a sun visor. That's like 2008 on a BA? You know, University of manoa hawaii.
I think my daughter chewed on it.
I'll be honest, you may have heard it was like a nice little bag that came with it. But yeah,
I remember the bag right? Yeah, I
remember literally everything
my daughter's where's my daughter swears and I was I just found out as well that I was pregnant with Leo. Right. So like, like you're setting everything.
Yeah, but I'm
with Yeah, that too. Which was why it was actually not so bad. We were all sharing a room. I was so exhausted that I went to bed and Cassia just like passed. Right? Because I was like, feel like it was like we have to be quiet so that the daughter will go to sleep and we'll stand I just like I'd pass out. Like, you know, I'm first trimester toddlers schedule. Yeah, that's great. My daughter is barely a year old. Yeah, maybe 14 months old is July. Yeah. She swears she remembers that trip. She's bullshit swears.
Maybe she remembers looking at pictures from that trip. And yeah, think that she has memories of that trip. Ask me how I know because that's what I teach, anyhow. Yeah. No, but I like it. Cassie, tell Olin because Olin did not come with me. Oh, by myself, and it was great. Well,
if it looked, but if we'd had to pay for a plane ticket for her, she was right. She came because she could sit on our laps like that was the reason that she was able to come on this trip. And but yeah, it was an also how we also tell the story on how she is in so many random Japanese tourists memory books, because she has the like white. She was like bald, white blond hair, right? But also had like 17 miles of eyelashes, right? And these just giant blue eyes. And so like, everyone was coming up to her asking if she could take a picture of her. Like peacock eyes. Beautiful eyes. Yeah, but this was before the internet, right? So it's like, you take a picture and you're like, oh, no,
it was not though, Lee because my paper was about mommy blogging. That's
like, yeah, no, that's true. But it was still harder to disseminate images online. It was not so. So she's also like a random, small, you know, who's this white baby. Just so cute, though. Photographs. But that is so funny that we were there together.
Yeah. Yeah. And if I had met you that I would remember because obviously it appears I remember everything.
Yeah, no, I would remember you too, because it would have been like,
yeah, it would have been. Absolutely. You went
to the University of Alberta to
like, hold on a second. Yeah, it's amazing. We must have been like a series of misconnections. You and me for many years before we finally
I'm sure we were at Congress together God how many times? You know.
Anyway, anyhow, did we forget what we were supposed to be talking about? Right now? We have a memory. This is still Yeah, we've gone down memory lane, which I think is a bit different. Talking memory.
Yeah. But isn't that the ADHD experience, though? Yeah, right. This is exactly what we're talking about. That is is just like, um, you know, I remember that that the enemy and for different reasons, but I remember that trip with great clarity as well. You know, yeah. Including this stupid murder grass on one of the beaches.
We Haha. Yeah. Okay. So anyway, so Emery getting through the day. So you obviously need some help with packing, right? That was not great for you trying to remember all the things that you needed to bring with you.
Got bras wants to that was another good one. So thankfully, I was wearing one. And so I had to wear that one for like,
yeah, she was a bit skunky by the end of it. But but you're okay. Yeah. So we learn about the things that we're likely to forget, like, Oh, I'm stressed out about traveling, which means it's going to be harder for me to remember to get the pair of pants out of my closet and bring it back into my bedroom to put in my suitcase like to know that about yourself as to begin to build structures that will allow you to remember and now like I said, I get students like, I'm not going to remember that you asked me to do this. So send me a meeting invitation, right? You know, like, they'll tell me like just reminding you. I'm like, send it send it to me in an email, right? Just send me the fact and I will do that. Like, well, it's just one thing I'm like