By David Joel Miller.
Several times this last week I have gotten lost without even leaving my own house. My roommate describes this as “wandering.” She tells me I wander around the house as if I am lost.
Truth is I frequently am lost. I do not yet believe this is an organic problem. My doctor does not think I have any dementia – yet. Still I am getting concerned.
Most of the time I can blame these failings on the doorway effect. I wrote a previous post about how we all experience this memory fault, or most of us do. We go to the kitchen and then can’t remember what we went in there for.
I would like to blame my wandering on doorways, but I know that this problem should resolve if I would just go back to my desk in the office at which point I would remember what I needed in the kitchen.
The problem has become more acute. I find that I have to go to the bathroom, the bedroom and then the kitchen and not only can I not remember what I was looking for I am not sure where I am supposed to be going.
What I find has been going on is that I am mentally working on what the next post will be and the result is that there is little or no unused memory capacity for remembering where I am going and why.
We used to call this absent-mindedness. Remember the absent-minded professor? College is out for the summer here and I will not be able to use that excuse again till fall.
I believe that I am suffering from another more insidious ailment.
I have un-mindfulness.
Some of you have heard of mindfulness trainings. The goal is to get you to be fully present in the moment. Experience what you are experiencing and thus remember what is happening to you.
My problem is precisely the opposite. I am consciously unmindful. Wherever I find myself I am thinking about something that is somewhere else. My brain is occupied thinking through the next post even while my bladder is urging a hasty trip to the bathroom.
The result of these mental conflicts is that I end up in the kitchen, not sure why I am here and having an overwhelming urge to urinate.
I trust there is minimal connection between the kitchen and the urge to urinate.
I remember a teacher who used to urge me to “pay attention to what you are doing.” I do not remember which teacher that was as I was not particularly paying attention.
What I believe I need to do is take a few days off from writing posts and read one of these mindfulness books I bought a while back, if only I could remember where I had placed the mindfulness book.
Hope you enjoyed this post. For the record, it is not my intention to make fun of those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Just having a little fun realizing that sometimes my mind is so occupied on things somewhere else that I forget to be mindful of where I am now and what I am supposed to be doing.
Learning to be more mindful is not the only self-improvement project on my schedule this year. Remind me to tell you about my experiences with stress reduction, meditation, exercise and yoga class. I am also trying to simplify my life and cut down on all these activities that are taking up my free time.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books
- What is Serenity? (counselorssoapbox.com)
- 2013 Midpoint – Top 10 posts (counselorssoapbox.com)
- What is a blog? Why are you writing a blog? (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Are you a Parentified Child? (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Driving the recovery bus – the role of self-motivation in recovery (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Your Self-talk can predict the future (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Anger and Depression beat Contentment and Serenity (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Extra practical therapy book is coming (counselorssoapbox.com)