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Forgot to flush the toilet

September 17, 2008

Have you ever lived with someone who’s so forgetful he forgets to flush the toilet? Been there done that. I had a roommate in college. I’ll call him Bob. Bob’s a farm boy from Pennsylvania. He’s got a really hot sister. He’s a hardcore skateboarder. He looks just like any regular American kid. Except he’s extremely forgetful.

Bob forgets where he puts his books, his phone, his wallet, even his underwear. He forgets to turn off the tap. One time we searched a whole day in panic for his mom’s car which he borrowed without telling. He forgot he had parked it a block away. And yes, he forgets to flush the toilet. Even after “big business.”

I doubt if 19-year olds could have Alzheimers but I kinda felt sorry for him and whoever he ends up marrying. I tell ya, sometimes its hard to hold myself from kicking his butt but naah. We were actually quite close. πŸ™‚

Bob’s not the type who notices things around him. I think over here we call it ‘blur’. In my psychology class, we had a test where they flashed you a photo of a city scene for a few seconds and then asked you to write down what you remember. Bob scored really low and so did a few friends who were in the ‘blur’ club. But it was fun. The guys who scored the lowest were the ones who laughed the most, further proof that minds are bad for you. Me – I scored in the upper 25th percentile. A lousy compensation for my reading disability.

The point is, I saw a link between forgetfulness and mental focus. If you have ADD (attention deficit syndrome where your mind jumps all over the place like a monkey) which I suspect Bob was suffering from, then you’ll have memory recall problems. Same thing if you are under a lot of worry and stress. A bad memory spells trouble at the office. You’ll forget assignments, miss deadlines, and find yourself being chased by the mob all the time.

What about older people? I don’t know but I have a feeling their forgetfulness is somehow linked to mental baggage – the accumulated stress, worry and regret that scatters the mind. Yes the brain does degenerate with age but studies have shown that mental activity can survive a physically damaged brain. Like a paralysed person who can still listen acutely and respond.

Personally I think you can nip forgetfulness by improving awareness. How to improve awareness? Learn to focus. Take an object. Any object – a flower, a candle, a rock. Put it on the table, sit down and look at it. Study it in every aspect and every detail. If your mind strays, bring it back gently. Spend 10 minutes a day. After a lot of practice, you’ll find that you can control your mind instead of it controlling you. Its actually quite liberating. As a side-effect you’ll find that your forgetfulness decreases. I don’t know why it works but it just does.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2008 12:19 pm

    Subtle post on the benefits of meditation? πŸ™‚

  2. Damien permalink*
    September 17, 2008 8:20 pm

    Medi-what? πŸ™‚

    Some people buy pocket organizers to remember things. And then they lose their organizers. I find this a much cheaper way, hehe.

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