The Bump-into Theory
It’s the only theory that works for me these days. If I don’t bump into it, I’ll forget to take it, do it, return it, replace it or clean it! Trouble is, you can really clutter up your life that way. For instance, how about that bike in the garage?
You plan to take it out and ride it, but you keep putting it off. Best to put that bike right at the bottom of the outside steps so you will bump into it (or have to climb over it) every time you leave the house. Then you can’t forget to take that bike ride. That’s what I mean.
Supposed to take the camera to the birthday party? You’ll forget it unless you go get that camera RIGHT NOW and put it beside your purse, or on the hall table by the front door. Need to return a book to a friend? Get that book this very minute and put it on the front seat of your car. That’s right, NOW!
There are more subdued versions of the bump-into theory. The first one we all heard was “Tie a string around your finger.”
That may work, but what if you forget what you were supposed to remember? What if you have to wash the dishes and the string gets wet and slides off. Not very practical.
Another way to remember things, of course, is to write notes to yourself. That’s why sticky notes were invented I guess.
But you can carry that too far. I’ve seen them pasted all over computers, refrigerator doors and car dashboards. They are ugly! And speaking of refrigerator doors, a lot of people use them to post reminders. We have one clip on the door of the fridge where we hang invitations we’ve received in the mail. Trouble is, some of those events took place months ago!
Also, you can end up competing with your grandkids for space on the refrigerator door.
My husband keeps saying we need to put more things up at eye level so we don’t have to bend over so much (you know, bad knees, bad backs etc.). Like put our pots and pans higher up in the cupboards so we don’t have to bend over to get them out of the stove drawer. Trouble is, what do we do with the dishes that are in the top cupboards? And what do you put in the bottom cupboards and the stove drawer? Maybe the stuff from all the reachable drawers in the bedroom that we only use a few times a year like mittens and wool scarves (we live in a warm climate).
The point is, as we “seniorize,” we have to have help remembering to do things. Believe me, the most effective way is to put it right out in front of you so you have to step over it until it is done. Just be careful you don’t trip over the dog on your way to complete your mission!
What’s all this got to do with the Internet? Nothing. Absolutely nothing…I forgot!
Jane Booras is Editor of the Campus Times Newsletter for Computer School for Seniors (http://www.cs4seniors.com/)