Mindfulness, or How to Stop Having Senior Moments

Ever walk into another room in your house to do something and totally forget what you came to do? Sure you have. And what do you and everyone else call that?

Senior moment, right?

I have news for you. Long before I became a senior, I had these so-called senior moments.

Lots of them.

And no, I wasn’t “developmentally delayed.” I was actually considered quite bright for my age. I think there is another explanation for this widespread phenomenon. Let’s call it lack of mindfulness.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say I’m upstairs in my house. I am doing some paperwork and I need my credit card. I get up, walk down the stairs, being mindful that I do not fall. I notice there is an item on the shelf in the front hall that belongs in the kitchen. I reach up to get it, continue into the living room, walking past my husband who is watching TV. I arrive in the kitchen and deposit the item where it belongs.

Now, why did I come down here? I simply cannot remember. I wrack my brain as hard as I can, I still cannot remember. I sit down to watch the TV, determined to remember. What was I doing upstairs that I needed to come downstairs for? Still nothing.

Finally, I march back upstairs and like magic I remember. I rush down the stairs, saying to myself, “Credit card, credit card.” And this time, triumphant, I remember the card, take it back upstairs and finish my paperwork.

What is the cure for these senior moments? Here it is. It’s called mindfulness. You see, when I started downstairs in the first place, I was in my ordinary mind, which for me means not focusing on the task at hand, but letting my mind wander. If I had been in a state of mindfulness, I would have been focusing on the task I was performing, and on the parts of it I needed to do to bring it to completion. So when I realized I needed the credit card, I would have the whole project in my mind and a clear vision of what I needed to complete it. That is mindfulness. I think of it as the opposite of distractedness.

So, in order to stop having senior moments, 2 things are required. The first is to stop accepting these moments as a function of age and therefore uncontrollable. The second is mindfulness as described above. Try it and see for yourself.

This subject also has a heavy bearing on multitasking, but I’m not going there today. I’m going to stay in mindfulness until I post this blog.

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Never Too Late To Bloom

Never Too Late To Bloom