I continue to be fascinated (horrified might be a better word) by my wandering mind which seems to be venturing farther and farther away from home.
A story about cellist Yo Yo Ma, hit me slap in the face. Yo Yo gets in a cab in NYC and puts his $2.5 million cello in the trunk. When he arrives at his destination, he pays the cabbie, gets out of the cab, and walks off, leaving his cello in the trunk.
I’ve done things like that though with items much less expensive.
For most of us, it’s not a $2.5 million dollar cello we need to pay attention to, it’s little things that usually cost a lot less but may be as equally important to everyday life.
So, does this growing propensity to forget our belongings herald something more scary – like Alzheimer’s, for instance"?
Whether it’s glasses or car keys, or a cello, the busier you are, the more likely you are to be absentminded.
"We are all living in a multitasking society," says George T. Grossberg, MD. "Many people just have sensory overload, in which they have too many things going on at once, making them more likely to be absentminded."
Absentmindedness, explains Grossberg, is akin to a personality trait; most likely, an absentminded person would say he or she has been that way their whole life, constantly trying to juggle tasks, and inevitably, some tasks get forgotten. But as people age and tend to get busier, that trait seems more pronounced as people deal with increasingly hectic schedules.
"As people get older and busier with their careers and families, they may be more absentminded, but a defining characteristic of this is that it does not interfere with a person’s ability to successfully conduct his or her life," says Grossberg, who is the director of geriatric psychiatry at the St. Louis University School of Medicine.
When absentmindedness does interfere with a person’s ability to function on a daily basis, then it’s a sign that something beyond a busy schedule or lack of attention to detail may be to blame. He says as long as the person who loses their keys still know what a key is and what it operates, we are probably okay.