I tend to forget things a lot. It’s a problem.
I don’t necessarily think it is a problem that I can’t control, though. I think it is a problem of my own creation.
I tend to have a million different things on my mind at once. I’m always thinking forward, and sometimes thinking backward. At times, it can be hard for me to think in the present. This idea of being simply focused on what is happening “now” is something that I am not particularly good at. I like to play situations out a few steps ahead, like to project the end result of decisions and initiatives, and like to plan strategically. This makes it harder (for me at least) to think of things as being in the moment; in other words, focusing on the here and the now.
So, what ends up happening, is my wife asks me to do something, and all of sudden a whole bunch of connected ideas flow into my head, and instead of thinking of just that one question or task, I’m now thinking about ten different things, all important, but not necessarily all as important currently.
It has taken me a long time to understand that this is really what is happening for me, and to truly understand the implications of this. First, this awareness has helped me to focus more on questions I’m asked or tasks I’m given. Simply, the awareness of my potential to get overwhelmed with thought has helped me to focus on priorities a little bit better. Second, it has made it easier for me to request, from my wife, for instance, that she help me to prioritize what she needs. In this case, by reducing the number of tasks she asks of me at the same time, I can better manage all the ideas that come my way.
In some way, a deeper understanding of my forgetfulness has actually made me more mindful. It seems that if we’re willing to think about what’s happening in each of us, we can get a bit closer to truly being in the present.