I have a very dear friend (with ADHD) who came up with that classic quote.
Each year a few of us get together to do Halloween in a big way. We dress up as witches and decorate like crazy. It gets bigger each year. The whole neighborhood knows about our tradition and comes by each Halloween to see us.
Well with an event that big, there are lots of details. Last year we were talking about what to add, to remember or to do differently next year. That’s when my friend went into her house and came out with pen and paper. “Here, write it down so you don’t remember.”
We had a good laugh and tease her to this day, but it’s really a pretty typical ADHD thing, don’t you think?
So why do we have such trouble remembering things?
Well there are a few reasons but all are connected to our ADD brain and how it works.
You know how our brains are always processing 50 different things at once? Kind of like 50 browser windows open at once. Or picture fireworks going off, each firework representing a different thought in your head.
That’s a lot going on all at once! And it’s not just now and then. It’s pretty much all the time.
When you think of it that way, is it any wonder that we forget things?
Another aspect of our ADD brain is that we’re always living in the future instead of the present. You walk into the house from a day at work and you’re already thinking about what to make for dinner and what you’ve got going on that night. Your keys, your purse and cell phone get put down somewhere, but where?
You don’t remember because you weren’t there in the moment. You were 5 or 10 minutes in the future getting ready to make dinner.
Didn’t know we could time travel did you?
So what can you do about this forgetfulness?
Start by being more conscious of the right here and now. Wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it now and then or set a timer to go off every 15 minutes to remind you to stay in the present.
An even easier and more effective way is to learn to meditate. Meditation is actually training your brain to quiet and be still. Once you start to have some success with it, you will more naturally be living in the present more often.
Plans and lists can be helpful as can routines. If your day is planned out and you have a list to check off, you won’t have so much on your mind. Your plan will remind you that you’ve got chicken in the crockpot for dinner and your list will tell you what you should be doing right now.
Developing routines will help put many daily activities on autopilot so not only do you not have to think about them, but they can solve mysteries like where you left your car keys and cell phone.
Nobody’s perfect when it comes to memory, but with a little effort you can get better.
And hey, you can always write it down so you don’t remember. 😉