Oops I forgot!

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It seems like I have a permanent guest living up in my head these days. She’s crazy and quirky and enjoyed playing around – hoarding and discarding memories at whim without worrying about order or importance. Perhaps that’s why I remember the lyrics of a cheesy 50s song that I don’t even like while forgetting that I left the gas stove on.

Early this year I went to the library, parked my vehicle by the side of the street, came home walking and then left for a short vacation with my friends. It stood there for two whole nights before I remembered and went looking for it and surprisingly enough, found it. Then again a few months back I forgot it at the same place before another short vacation with the kids, and went back for it after a day. This time I knew where I had left it!

It’s a bit of a mystery why it happens at the same place each time. And why it happens before a vacation. A greater mystery is why no one drives away with it. 

Anyhow, the bigger question is why I keep forgetting things. After all this wasn’t a regular keys or specs kind of thing. Is it because my mind is too cluttered? Is it because  am stressed? Is it even unusual? I don’t think so.

A quick round of google tells me forgetfulness could be a result of stress, multitasking and lack of sleep among other more serious reasons like depression and medication. And so, assuming I don’t have a serious reason, I decided to tackle that woman in my head with some simple ideas. This is how:

Being organised both physically and mentally

– I spend 15-20 minutes everyday at physical organising, decluttering and putting away things.
– I have a fixed place for things I need often and never find – keys, books, chargers, pens, scissors, cello-tape. A large bowl on the centre table or a drawer for all stationery items helps me know where they are.
– I make to-do lists – lots of them.
– And I use reminders liberally – for children’s classes, for fee payments, for library days.

No jumping from task to task

You know how this happens, don’t you? You’re working at an article and you need to refer to some notes. You go to the study to get them and find a pile of books the kids have left at the table. You think you’ll quickly replace them and while doing that you stumble upon a book you’d needed for another article and hadn’t been able to find then. You begin to leaf through it and your current article is forgotten.
The thing to do is to keep your focus and wrap up one task before jumping to the next.

Being mindful

The other day while at my walk I wondered if I had locked my front door. Try as I might I just couldn’t recollect. I rushed back home only to find I had locked it. Such a waste! Being mindful helps. Try to give each task, however small, complete attention for those two or five or ten full minutes.

Getting enough sleep and some exercise

That’s pretty crucial too, to keep the mind and body fresh and happy.
I’m hoping this will set me on the path to driving that woman out of my head. So tell me have you ever forgotten something important? Does your absent mindedness worry you too? Do you have any pointers to add?
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Linking up Mackenzie at Reflections from Me. Do take a look at her post where she talks about how we get stressed by simple things.

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37 thoughts on “Oops I forgot!

  • September 21, 2016 at 3:49 am
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    There has been a lot said in the above comments and all I can say is if nobody ran off with your vehicle on the 2 occasions then sansaar main bhalai aur achaai abhi bhi baaki hai 🙂
    I have missed reading quite a many posts of yours. Today is the to catch them all.

    Reply
    • September 21, 2016 at 6:45 am
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      It is also a possibility that no one wants my decrepit vehicle :-))). Though I much prefer your line of thought. I looove comment bombing. Thank you.

      Reply
  • September 18, 2016 at 2:49 am
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    Thank you first of all for the mention xoxo I agree the more we try and do everything and be everything for everyone the more we forget and don't focus on things properly. being mindful is so important. Mindfulness is such a great way to be in the moment and be less stressed too. #mg

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    • September 18, 2016 at 7:51 am
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      Loved your post MG. Yes being mindful helps.

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  • September 17, 2016 at 9:38 pm
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    Happy I am not alone 🙂 Ops. I forgot my glasses (when they are usually right on my nose)I like to-do lists too- they save me alot of trouble 🙂 Big hugs from a kindred spirit

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    • September 18, 2016 at 7:48 am
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      Thanks Eli. Ah glasses, keys and phone are my undoing.

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  • September 17, 2016 at 9:03 pm
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    Wonderful post. At work, I park on the city streets. I forget where daily. I think that I can safely cover, stress, lack of sleep, chronic pain, multitasking, and, I think I forgot the rest….Hmmm. Gotta work on this! #mg

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    • September 18, 2016 at 7:47 am
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      It helps to know that it's not just me. And I say it back to you – it's not just you. Take a break, be mindful. That helps.

      Reply
  • September 17, 2016 at 10:28 am
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    I am too finding myself a little lost these days.. Don't know what had happened to me recently. I hope to apply a few of these tips.

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    • September 17, 2016 at 6:42 pm
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      Too many things to do perhaps? Forgetfulness gets to all of us somedays.

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  • September 16, 2016 at 6:20 pm
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    Ahh yes, the forgetfulness. I often tend to believe that I do remember things and don't check the to do list until it's too late. Totally relate with this, and hey these are some great tips!

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    • September 17, 2016 at 6:41 pm
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      I used to be there once upon a time, now I suspect I have forgotten things all the time.

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  • September 16, 2016 at 4:53 am
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    OMG! Tulika, I just read about myself in your post! Trust me, every word describes ME!
    I too realised that most of these goof-ups take place because I try to multitask, which is so wrong. So, now, I try and focus on one thing at a time, finish one task at a time. Of course, things do go wrong in spite of it all, but work on ourselves, we must! I hope you are able to shoo that lady from your mind once and for all!

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    • September 16, 2016 at 1:55 pm
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      Ha ha we're all in the same boat then. Multitasking is for the really smart people I think. Not my thing at all.

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  • September 15, 2016 at 6:53 pm
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    I need liberal reminders & yes, I need to stop jumping from one task to next. Your post is a handy list of all I need to desperately put to action 🙂
    Though that scooter incident was really scary, am glad it all ended well.

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    • September 16, 2016 at 1:54 pm
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      Thanks My Era – the jumping from task to task – one leading to the other and all unfinished – drives me crazy.

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  • September 15, 2016 at 2:30 pm
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    Ha ha! really? good you found it at the same place on both the occasions. I make to-do lists and set calendar for things and the most silly thing for me is to look for my phone when I am already using it for a call. I am sure it's multitasking and having too much to chew that we can bite.

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    • September 16, 2016 at 1:53 pm
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      You're right Parul. Oh and the phone – happens to me too – even my glasses.

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  • September 15, 2016 at 9:53 am
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    The mindful thing freaks me out too. Specially when it happens after an exam: did I write the correct roll number? Did I tie the supplements properly? Phew! 😀

    You could also use an app for the to-do lists et al. What if the the handwritten todo list goes missing? *hides face* *runs away*

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    • September 16, 2016 at 1:52 pm
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      You bad girl. I make the lists on my phone so no losing them!

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  • September 15, 2016 at 9:20 am
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    It always happens to me where I lack concentration and forgetfulness afflicts right from minor things to a task and so many. Guess, we need to do some small activities of noting it down on To do lists or tasks.

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    • September 16, 2016 at 1:51 pm
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      To do lists do help. At least you have a task list to refer to.

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  • September 15, 2016 at 7:56 am
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    Oh God, you forgot your scooter? Great that you could find it. I tend to forget too. I've now resorted to reminders and lists. Very valid points, Tulika. We are doing way too many tasks and I guess age is catching up too. Need to be more mindful of our actions.

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    • September 16, 2016 at 1:50 pm
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      I really was lucky with the scooter. Mindfulness is the way to go.

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  • September 15, 2016 at 6:13 am
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    Hahaha… I can relate to this state so well. I usually see myself opening the fridge and trying to remember what I needed to take out. Earlier, whenever I was going out, I would run back home and check the locks once again. It was a painful exercise. Thankfully, I became more mindful when locking the door and now there are no more panicky runs or irritated glances from hubby. Agree with all the pointers you shared. Lists- physical and mental ones- are my lifeline. I cant function without them and keeping the things in their proper places reduces heartburn and annoyance too! I must say, you are lucky to find your vehicle where you left it, twice!! Touchwood 😀

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    • September 16, 2016 at 1:48 pm
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      This not remembering the locks is crazy and the worst bit is most often I HAVE locked them – only I'm not sure and cannot take the risk of not checking. You're one of the organised lot I know. It wouldn't be so bad for you.

      Reply
  • September 15, 2016 at 2:01 am
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    Why am I not surprised that you leave expired vehicle and forget about it? But yes, we do tend to forget things as we grow older. I think it's to do with age plus stress plus taking on too much. I love the tips you've shared and if applied daily, they can go a long way towards helping us manage our memory better.

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    • September 16, 2016 at 1:46 pm
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      Thanks Shailaja. Age is a factor I'm sure. The forgetfulness just gets to me on some days.

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  • September 14, 2016 at 12:47 pm
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    Tell me about it, all of us have this woman living in our heads at some points more than others Tulika 😀 Good pointers. Loved that u left ur vehicle and walked back haha. My funniest episode is when at a family dinner at a fren's place I noted (aloud)that she had the same pair of bedroom snuggie shoes as I did. She looked strange at me and saidd those were not hers and she thought they were mine. Imagine my state?"@#$%^ I had worn them to her place absent mindedly and not even realised when I removed them in a corner 😉

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    • September 16, 2016 at 1:46 pm
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      Ha ha – that must have been absolutely hilarious. Talk about being absent minded!

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  • September 14, 2016 at 7:57 am
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    Hehehe. I've done that to my scooter on several occasions, but only in my own apartment compound. You sounded so cute! I am a list freak, so that minimizes the chances of forgetfulness…nevertheless, distractions are annoying! 🙂 Even if self-made!

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    • September 16, 2016 at 1:45 pm
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      Hmm lists are good. I need to make more of them.

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  • September 14, 2016 at 6:30 am
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    It happens, Tulika. We have so many things to take care of, so many things in our daily lists. It's natural that we become forgetful. I too forget things these days and have to keep setting reminders. Asking S or my sister to remind me is of no help because then I have to set a reminder to ask them to remind me. Yes, you see I'm surrounded by lazy people and so I may one day end up forgetting everything too! 😉 Will try and follow your tips 🙂

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  • September 14, 2016 at 5:23 am
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    Oh, I have become so forgetful of late. I go and stand in front of the fridge wondering what I wanted. I go downstairs do a bunch a things and come back without doing what I had originally intended. And every time I leave home, I feel as if I have not switched off the gas. It is crazy. I have read somewhere that women may begin experiencing these episodes in their middle age. I really don't know. Your tips are helpful. While working, I just log out of all social media and stay distraction free. At least, I am able to tackle my professional work effectively.

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    • September 16, 2016 at 1:43 pm
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      I think it is to do with having too much on your mind. We need to be more focussed.

      Reply

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