We've all experienced it - forgetting where we put things, wondering why we came into a room, having difficulty recalling familiar facts like our childrens' names. The phenomenon has a variety of names: forgetfulness, absent-mindedness, having a "senior moment", not "living in the moment" are a few examples. It happens to me more often than I would like although so far all of my lapses have been relatively minor and inconsequential. But recently I heard from someone who put the topic in a whole new perspective for me.
I had sent an email to a cross-word puzzle acquaintance in which I gently chided her for being in such a rush to complete a puzzle that she hadn't even read all of the clues, and that elicited this reply:
"Ha! No one who knows me well would be surprised to know I'd missed my favorite word in a puzzle, and believe me it has diddly to do with haste. I am - and have always been - a very absent-minded sort of person whose mind flits from one thing to another and I often miss what's right in front of my nose. The best illustrative examples of that: Sitting next to my sister one Christmas evening and suddenly panicking and asking when was the last time she'd seen my then-three year old (the other kids were in sight). She looked at me like I'd lost my mind and dead-panned "Debbie, he's in your lap." Fast-forward to roughly eight years later when my daughter was two-ish and the family was heading into the mall and I suddenly panicked when I didn't see her. You guessed it; she was in my arms.
So, I miss shit. I miss a LOT of shit..."
Of course I emailed her back and apologized for jumping to conclusions, but man - she really DOES miss a lot of shit! And the next time I'm looking for my reading glasses only to discover that I am wearing them (this has really happened) I will worry less about what it might mean - having a "senior moment" doesn't have to mean I'm getting old, does it?