As I saunter through middle age, forgetfulness has become a bit more commonplace than I was initially prepared for. Of course, it raises a sense of concern when I walk into a room these days and I can’t recall the purpose of my journey. But, oddly enough, forgetting stuff has actually taught me valuable lessons about acceptance, adaptation, and the true essence of life.
With age, our priorities shift naturally. Whether you are consciously into the whole “mindfulness” thing or not at all, it still seems inevitable that we focus more on present moments as we inch closer to our unavoidable demise. Thus, one of the actual pleasures of aging is relishing our experiences more. “Youth is wasted on the young,” said George Bernard Shaw or Oscar Wilde (no one can quite pin down when, where, and who said it). Once we are old-timers, we become all too aware of the treasure that is life. Accordingly, forgetting minor details becomes inconsequential compared to the richness of the present.
Forgetting also enables us to selectively remember what truly matters. Significant events, cherished moments, and milestones are etched deeply in our minds, while trivialities fade away. This declutters the mind a bit, allowing us to prioritize meaningful memories.
Forgetfulness compels me to fully engage with my surroundings and the people I love as well. I appreciate the beauty of life in front of me, unburdened by the past or future.
Though forgetting can be scary at times, for fear of a more serious condition like dementia, some forgetfulness is bound to happen to all of us the older we get. To adapt, I write things down more or pause before I leave one room to focus on my purpose of entering another. I think forgetting stuff has actually made me a more responsible, adaptable person.
All in all, memory lapses as I age haven’t been as worrisome as anticipated. Instead, my memory slips teach me to live more in the present, cherish what truly matters, and accept myself and others as imperfect beings. And, embracing imperfections, such as forgetfulness, and accepting our humanity are vital components of having true joy and fulfillment in life. Now, THAT’S worth remembering! So, while I am starting to forget stuff more often the older I get, I don’t mind as much as I thought I would.