Mindless Things

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.

Little boy uses ramp to help him bowl. 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.

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10 thoughts on “Mindless Things

  1. You were just having a lot of fun and probably thinking of getting your grandson safely home, which was why it slipped your mind! I’ve been doing that off and on since I was young! LOL…
    Almost got into the wrong car thinking it was my dad’s car.
    Almost getting knocked by a car because I was day dreaming about something and didn’t look both sides before crossing the road.
    Almost missed a turning while driving because too busy….day dreaming
    Gone out of the house before realizing I forgot to take the car keys….

    LOL!

    • Great comments and thanks for sharing!

      Maybe we need to be more in the moment. Then we are focused on one step at a time. Putting shoes on the counter. Paying for entertainment. Walking out the door. Getting in the car. It feels so sluggish. And with all the ways we can be engaged – texting, watching tv, reading, driving,listening to a conversation. I think it’s the rare moment when we actually do things one at a time.

      Now I need to ponder how to fit ‘single-mindedness’ into my world! Lovely!!

  2. Into the car – belt up – drive off – negotiate the turns, traffic lights and other obstacles placed to delay journeys – drive for 5 mins and think..

    Hang on, I don’t want to go this way……

    I should have left home in the opposite direction.

    It always happens when I’m stressed. I have to stop and take stock, calm down and then get going in the RIGHT direction.

    • Where does our mind go? When I am stressed I forget names. I can look right at you and know who you are but your name dangles like a sneaky spider in the background of my mind.

      Now, how to undo the stress and get back on the right road, huh?

  3. Recently after my manicure me and my nail technician sat chatting away, as we usually do. Then it was time for me to get going and she was making a pit stop before her sister arrived as they were going to lunch. When I get in the car I got a text from her that she forgot to get my payment; and of course, I had forgotten to pay her. She wasn’t worried as I already had the next appointment and I could pay her then. I didn’t want her to wait so I sent the next morning and paid her.
    Yes, I forget things a lot, but so do many young people these days. I spoke to a neurologist about it once. He said “you would be surprised how many people come to me thinking they have dementia/Alzheimer’s. But, stress also causes forgetfulness.” That was a relief to know. I do find that when I am not under stress, and am working, my mind is sharper.

    There was a report on TV recently about a research project the French did on 40,000 people. They found that people who continue working beyond retirement age are sharper and most do not get dementia or Alzheimer’s. Also our diets and exercise help our memory as well.

  4. my life is filled with stories like this and stress has been the constant thread running through them.I mostly have laughed at the episodes but also have wished I paid better attention to what was going on in my life that I was THAT stressed.

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