Wrong Turns – The Car Park at the Mall – Short Term Memory Glitches

Wrong Turns – The Car Park at the Mall – A Lesson in Paying Attention

When was the last time you got lost? Was it an enjoyable e-xperience, or a stressful one? Tell us all about it.



This is how I feel, it may as well be a Netherworld.

I am not kidding when I say this. Literally I get out of my car, get distracted and fail to take notice of landmarks like colour coding and Levels.The last time this happened, many things happened at once. It’s a short term memory problem. As soon as I put something down, I forget where I put it, like house and car keys, although they usually live in a brightly coloured, can’t be missed bowl. So, I get out the car in the multi-leveled and variously colour coded parking area. I close and lock the doors, being aware of jamming, so I check all the doors to make sure they have not been jammed. By this time, I fail to note the marker maps that will allow me to return to my car, like a homing pigeon. I have also failed to take note of where I have placed my car keys in my multi-purpose Hedgren Urban bag, travel worn and a bit weary, but worst of all, I have failed to take note of where I have placed the parking ticket, which I will have to use to pay at the outlet before returning to my car.

Off I go, distracted. On my return I am in the queue to pay, with impatient individuals behind me who stop just short of riding onto my heels with their laden trolleys. I start to fish in my bag for the ticket. I can’t find it, so I have to stand aside. Since I seldom carry cash, having been relieved of over R500 once, and theft is prevalent, I have learnt my lesson, but this also means I seldom have any cash at all, especially not coins or notes that will be accepted by the machine. I rummage some more, by this time embarrassed and flustered, with cash slips spilling from my wallet, raining like confetti, (I always think I will refer to them when budgeting, but I seldom do). The fine for a lost ticket is R300. Finally, I pass this hurdle. But now I need to find my car. I wonder around heading in the direction I think it is. I’m sure this is where it was. Up and down several levels. Now I am convinced my car has been stolen. I approach a security guard, who radios others. I ask if they can access CCTV footage. They say yes. We search. Finally I come across my car, not at all where I thought I had left it. Sheepishly I explain that in fact my car has not been stolen. But, I have to find the keys.

The lesson. Practice mindfulness, especially in the moments that I am inclined to be distracted. Like a visit to the mall. This mainly happens because this is not my favourite activity and I do not do it for fun. It is reserved specifically for a mission, a task or tasks.

Right, be mindful. Pay attention. Until next time.

Image from Wikimedia Commons Share Alike



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