IMPORTANT NOTE: I actually forgot to post this blog when I wrote it on October 21, 2013—how funny!
One forgets. I am constantly reminded of that in life. Often it isn’t such a bad thing. Like those times when I have been in physical pain, for instance—I tend to forget what that felt like. Or I forget about arguments I had or some awful experiences I had while I was working in corporate America. I am not upset that I forget these things. Apparently my mind is smart and has done a beneficial thing by tending to forget these negative things. So I can say in these cases I am forgetting for my own good.
Unfortunately, I also forget the good stuff, the stuff that serves me so well—and I bet you do to. It is a natural tendency—it is so easy to forget. I forget that reading poems helps to get my own writing juices flowing. I forget that when things seem hard, I should stop and let something make it feel easy again. Really what I forget is that I need to fill myself up with fuel before I can run (and I’m not talking about going for a jog). And by fuel, I mean anything that gives me energy and excitement and re-lights my passion about my work or whatever I am pushing and wanting to do.
One of the most unfortunate things I forget is to have fun. So I devised a method to stop during my workday to refuel and have some fun. I cut out hearts, peace signs and flowers out of good old-fashioned colorful construction paper (that was fun in and of itself). Then using a colored felt-tip pen I wrote a different fun activity on each piece (like read a poem, walk our labyrinth, write in my journal, play with my cat—I keep adding items when I think of them). I now have a grab bag of fun activities in a beautiful pottery bowl that I made. Now all I have to do is remember to pick one out of the bowl each day. But that’s the problem—I forget! I forget that doing something that makes me happier and saner is as easy as picking out a random fun activity from the bowl (which is really just picked from my head). It’s very simple if I would just not forget!
I have lots of techniques to help me remember and they work pretty well—for a while anyway. For instance, I have reminders pop up on my computer to take my vitamins, keep track of work hours, and pick a grab bag fun activity. And yet I still often forget those tasks anyway. If I have set up the reminder to pop up at the same time of the day for too many day, weeks or months in a row, I click “dismiss” on the task without really thinking about it. Instead of automatically doing the task, I automatically ignore it! Yes, we humans are so excellent at doing things automatically and unconsciously. That’s a good thing if it’s exercising most mornings (which I am happy to report I have been doing now for years without much thought). But it’s not such a good thing when it’s automatically dismissing something good like putting something out of your mind that will benefit you and make you happy.
So why do we forget? There are a ton of theories but all I can say is that forgetting isn’t such a bad thing. It’s part of life. So why not do things in life that make me the best me I can be? The answer for me is simply that I forget what serves me best…until I remember and I am off and running again with positive energy.