Inside my brain

I got paid on Wednesday. I swiftly transferred part of my paycheck into our joint account without thinking. Habit. However, a few days later, in between unpacking lunchboxes, I checked the balance of our account, and it didn’t look right. I clicked to get a closer look. Where was the money I had transferred? Upon closer inspection, I found it in one of my kids’ savings accounts. I was unable to transfer it out online. If that doesn’t give you enough of a glimpse into the multitasking of my brain…just wait.

Knowing I couldn’t get to the bank any time soon, I decided to call. As soon as I was put through to a human, some unfairness occurred, and Rose was screaming at the top of her lungs. I opened the front door and stepped outside, trying to find quiet. The woman on the line asked for my name and address. She asked for my account number, which I had thankfully scribbled on a post-it. Then she asked me for the first four numbers of my social security number.

My mind went blank. I had no idea how this number began. I tried to pull it out of the mush that my brain had become, but the wailing from inside continued. “Give me a second,” I told the woman from the bank. Was it 160? No, that was my account number. I ran through all sorts of numbers, but none felt right. Panic set it. Was I losing my mind?

Accepting defeat, I told the woman on the other end of the line, “I’m going to have to call you back. There is a lot going on here right now.” A fresh set of cries echoed inside the house as I hung up. I’m certain that my account was now flagged for fraudulent activity.

I went inside to where my husband was making dinner. I stood at the island, relaying what had just happened, frantically scribbling numbers on the post-it I had been holding, desperately trying to remember my social security number. I couldn’t place it.

I finally succumbed to digging through our strong box until I found my social security card. Seeing those first few digits was like breathing a sign of relief. I knew this number….

I’ve been reciting it in my head, over and over, ever since.


7 thoughts on “Inside my brain

  1. I live in that world a lot these days. It might be helpful just to take inventory of all the information you actually ARE holding in your head these days. It’s not surprising that something like a number might get shoved to the attic and put in a box that you can’t get your hands on right away.


  2. You captured the feeling well of having that moment you just can’t remember something you know. Social Security numbers always bring an extra pause for me. My husband was in the military, and for years, it was his number I had to remember. Now I have to think clearly to make sure I have mine when I need it.


  3. This is funny, but not funny! No wonder you couldn’t remember it with all the noise! Remembering sometimes takes quiet! I did laugh at the line “a fresh set of cries echoed from inside the house” — keep those numbers filed in an open drawer in that busy brain of yours!


  4. Oh, I have been here. I once had to provide a password to a customer service agent & for the life of me could NOT remember it. Nearly in tears, kids screaming in the background, I begged for a hint. The woman on the other end of the line was ridiculously kind & complied. Whew. I think motherhood & working &, well, life can make our brains spin a little. So glad you found those numbers & here’s hoping that the next call to the bank is simple.


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