Sometimes I forget things.
I eat right, I exercise, I am healthy… and still I forget.
I don’t smoke, I have friends, I am active … and still I forget.
I do mindless things. For instance, recently I took my grandson bowling. It was his first time and it was a blast. He ‘loved’ his shoes and he was able to 1) move the ramp and position it when it was his turn and 2) lift the 7lb bowling ball (the lightest weight they had). The child was glowing during the process. He just turned 5 years old and he was electric. There was no loud music, no remote controls, no tv screens and he was giddy with the newness of it all.
We bowled two games then called it quits. Off came the ‘really cool’ shoes and back on the shelves went the balls. The shoes were returned to the counter and we waved goodbye to the cashier who was setting up party tables.
Into the car seat he went — buckles, straps, chains, ropes … you know the drill. Then in my seat, buckled up and the thought popped into my mind as I was backing out of my parking space… What a fun time. What an affordable treat. Then the big question …”Um, how much was that anyhow? “
Put on the brakes, pulled back into my parking space and did the whole routine in reverse. Opened the back door, off came the buckles, straps, chains, ropes for the grandson in the backseat and back into the bowling alley because I forgot to pay. We laughed about it as we re-entered the bowling lanes but it made me wonder where my mind was.
There is a term called ‘directed forgetting’ or DF.
It is when you hear some information and either are told to forget what you heard (a judge may say that during a trial) or decide not to remember something. When someone gives me directions I usually go into DF mode. I tell myself I don’t have to remember because I will research it before I attempt the trip. I will use a map or GPS or both.
This event was not DF. It was just F. As in Forgetting? Or Failing to Remember? Freaking out? Who knows but it seems they happen more often and I learned that when I record them I remember them. Same things with dreams – write them down and when you read them later it’s like you’re right back there. Cool, huh?
Now, be truthful, do you ever think you are ‘losing it?’ Have you done some crazy things like I have and if so, how did you react? Did you laugh about it? Did you share what you did with someone? Did you shrug it off and forget it ever happened? Will you share it with me?
You know there will be more to come, right? It’s so nice to be back here writing to you again. Feel free to say hello!
Metzger, M. (2011). Directed Forgetting: Differential Effects on Typical and Distinctive Faces. The Journal of General Psychology. 138(2), 155-168.