Working Memory and Lost Keys

Not my family’s fabled key ring but about the right size and variety.
Photo by Jim Pennucci via Flickr
[License: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0]

Keys lost

I share a personality trait with at least two of my closest blood relatives. When I get in a hurry or under stress, I lose my car keys.

It took me a long time to isolate this pattern as something predictable and, indeed, diagnostic.

Lost key episodes were a dramatic feature of my childhood. My parents owned a large and rambling old motel and, when I was very young, they shared custody of a master key ring of epic proportions. Once when my dad was out of town for a weekend, my mom had to cope with an unexpected spring snow storm and with all the plumbing and heating problems that were usually dad’s to deal with. (For the most part, my dad took care of the physical systems; my mom dealt with the people.) Mom did a masterful job of getting us through the crisis. But by the time my dad got back to town, her triumph was overshadowed by disaster. She had lost the big key ring and none of us could find it, no matter how hard or long we searched. Continue reading