I used to be the best at remembering things. People would come to me asking “Do you remember what we discussed 3 months ago? What did we decide about this?”. They knew I would remember the discussions we’d had, why we discussed them in the first place, what our conclusions were and who was supposed to do what. Usually to be this precise you would need to hear the discussions or read the memos several times – I was able to remember on the first go. People were in awe that I knew the answer at the snap of their fingers!
Furthermore, I never needed reminders to tell me when to do and what to do. I could count the times I forgot to do something using only my left index finger. And that time I forgot I was devastated – how could I forget? I’m a lousy employee, I can’t let this happen ever again!
But then it happened again. And again. I only forgot little things, but they felt like huge mistakes. Then it started affecting my personal life, too. I didn’t remember my mom’s work shifts anymore. I couldn’t remember when my cat had last been to the vet. I even forgot to pay some bills before their due date! “Why is this happening to me? I must be going mad or something!”
But I wasn’t. I realised I had gotten busy. It took me a long time to accept that I could never be able to remember everything again. My mind was filled with information like peoples names and faces, their e-mail addresses, tasks to do, passwords to remember, meetings to prepare for. My world had gotten too big for me to rely on my memory alone.
If you’ve experienced something like this, I’m sure you can imagine my identity crisis. Suddenly I wasn’t the person who remembered anymore. I was the person who forgot! I was like everyone else – I was human! That can’t be! I should be better than that! This is not me!
I fought against it for quite some time. I rebelled against the idea of having to have someone or something remind me to do my job on time. I don’t need that. I have a high work morale, I would never forget things intentionally. I will learn to cope with this on my own. I’ve been able to for so long, it’ll come back to me.
Then I got over all that bs. I started adding reminders to Outlook. I started using tasks in Outlook. It wasn’t so bad. Now I was able to remember the important stuff, but kept track of my deadlines somewhere other than my head. Doing this relieved my stress and anxiety of being a bad employee. I even felt a bit grateful for being too busy at times – it took away a lot of time that I used to spend worrying about little things. My life actually got better when I started forgetting!
So I encourage you to forget remembering too! Just keep the crucial stuff stored in your head, but use tools to keep yourself sane and on time. After all, I think today if you can’t find a solution that works for you, you are able to create it on your own 🙂
Have you experienced something like this? I’d love to hear from fellow forgettees!