Absent-mindedness is an odd term for the kind of forgetfulness I struggle with, still.
It’s a product of meandering within the confines of my mind, not engaging fully in the tangible world around me.
For the most part, it’s a harmless trait, one that makes friends and family chuckle—and sometimes roll their eyes in frustration.
But I have a grandmother who developed Alzheimer’s, and sometimes I worry.
Pregnancy has increased my forgetfulness. Particularly in the first trimester, I had a hard time remembering to turn the stove off. A month or so ago, I drove off with the hatch open on the Subaru, with Brady in his kennel in the back, enjoying more breeze than I intended. And I can’t count the times I walk into a room, then can’t remember why I’m there.
But one of those times, as I stood there berating myself for spaciness, I had an “aha!” moment.
What if I thought of those moments of absent-mindedness as an invitation to practice being present? What if they are not failures, but opportunities?
Now, when I hear that scolding, anxious voice, I take a deep breath, pay attention to my surroundings, and wait patiently for memory to re-emerge.
It feels tremendously freeing.
And somehow, this small practice has helped me to see that 75% of my grandparents lived long lives without dementia.
These small moments of liberating grace are such a treasure.
Photo by A Girl With Tea