by Caren Crane
I'm pretty sure I used to know some math. I studied engineering in college and took many semesters of calculus, plus fun math electives like linear algebra back in the day. Still, arithmetic seems to have leaked out of my brain sometime in the past twenty years. Saturday, I was called upon to help separate Girl Scout cookie orders and count (and recount and re-recount) boxes of cookies. To make it "easier", we tried to make up full cases of twelve boxes each. Um...but then we had to count by twelves!
I don't know about you, but I learned the twelves times table in third grade when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Asking me to recall all that on a Saturday morning, without benefit of caffeine, seemed a bit much. Still, I persevered and we managed to get the orders resolved somehow, though it was slow, painful going.
It made me wonder, though, what else I might have forgotten. Do I really still know how to ride a bike or have I lost that, too? Do I remember how all the chess pieces move on the board or the best strategies to use when playing Yahtzee? Could I still play Hearts or would I have to relearn? These things used to be second nature to me, but I'm afraid all that knowledge may be a "use it or lose it" deal.
Now I'm a bit worried about all the things I don't do on a regular basis: cross stitch, drive a stick shift, French braid hair, perform CPR. Will I know how to do them when I need to? I mean, someone might forgive my poor embroidery but people sort of count on you to remember how many chest compressions to how many breaths when restarting someone's heart! (That, by the way, is a skill that could help you save someone's life, so please consider getting your CPR certification, like all of us Girl Scout leaders!)
What about you? Do you have any skills you fear may be rusty? Any that have deserted you (like knitting – I've learned three times!)? Please share and let me know it's not just my brain dumping things like it's been watching Hoarders!
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