One of my (many) personality traits: I am what kids used to call "a space cadet."
Once, in my late twenties, someone asked me, "where were you?" after I'd come back after spacing out at a party. She was just curious, no judgment. That was so refreshing, it endeared her to me.
Unfortunately, the answer was that I was thinking about how out of place I was, this no-name belly dancer at a party with all the Big Name tribal dancers. And this was just before Belly Dance Superstars! So sad, my feeling out of place. We chatted a little about it and moved on. I still get that feeling, but every year it lessens. That's another blog entirely. Side note, what happened to those photos? Oh well, I'll fix it later. Unless I forget...
I space out. Zone out. Stare off into space, just thinking. And because of this, I unintentionally (and occasionally intentionally, ahem) forget things all the time.
The upside of this trait is that I have a really active imagination and am exceedingly creative.
But I need a lot of reminders for things that aren't right in front of me. (And even things that are, sometimes.) I need systems, so I don't forget. That was part of becoming an adult for me, setting up systems that helped me not lose my keys, not to space out on when finals were (oh, I still did occasionally, but it's never the end of the world).
Every day, I check Remy's backpack when it comes in the door and I sign his agenda, like I am supposed to. (If I put it off, I would forget. Since I do it every day the same, I've only forgotten once or twice this year, when something distracted me as I was doing it.)
Every night, before I go to bed, I make his lunch. I don't forget, because I do it every day, Sunday night through Thursday.
(I don't forget to blog because I do it every morning, Monday through Friday.)
There's a lot of systems entrenched in my day to keep me from forgetting stuff. And yet I still do forget things. That's my natural tendency. (We don't need to get diagnostic about it, but yeah. I know the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.) It takes a lot of mental energy to keep the systems in place. Things that aren't systematized fall by the wayside.
Yesterday, I had to email Remy's teacher because I had forgotten to send in the permission slip/ money for his upcoming field trip, and it was due. (It was fine, she said I could send it in this morning, so I did.) And it opened up a space for Remy and I to talk about how I make mistakes, which was good.
Yes, he needs to see (and understand) that I'm human, too. I make mistakes, so does he, so does his dad. So does everyone. Mistakes happen. We forget things, despite our systems. We have to learn how to apologize, forgive ourselves and move on.
I had this weird feeling after this conversation, like, "Wait, shouldn't I feel bad about this?" but I didn't. I meant to remember, but I didn't and that's life. I apologized, I forgave myself and I moved on.
There's so many chances for us to beat ourselves up over the course of our days. But what does it do, but add suffering to hurt? Try kindness instead.