Last night just as I was about to fall asleep, my mind was flooded with three or four really good ideas for poems. And I think one good idea about the Presidential Election of 2020. I was tired and I told myself that I would certainly remember them in the morning.
I feel asleep with the word remember repeating in a whisper echoing throughout my mind. It felt like a real possibility.
This morning I woke up and the ideas were nowhere in sight, or rather, no where in mind. All I remember is some sort of fuzzy image of red, white, and blue balloons and a stage. In other words, useless.
After making the morning breakfast, packing lunches for my daughter and spouse, making coffee for me, any hope of retrieving the ideas from last night had officially been dashed.
So now this has me wondering what could I have done differently? What are some time tested tips for remembering, saving, building upon great ideas that happen at inconvenient times?
Well, sadly the mistake I made is the number one thing to avoid doing. And I knew I was making a mistake. Lesson learned.
When you have a good idea for a piece, a poem, an article, or even something big about society, about social media, about your passions in art, music, family: Write. It. Down.
Say it with me: Write. It. Down.
Keep a notebook by the bed, with a pen. I have this. It exists. I ignored it. Now there are three or four poems that might never be written because of my silly tired negligence!
First thing, always: write it down. On your phone, on the laptop, on a scrap piece of paper or a napkin. We know this by now, right? And yet, living proof: I forgot, and you might also forget.
So in reality the first thing is to not forget the most basic thing about having good ideas: Don’t forget to write them down no matter where you are.
Aside from the no-brainer idea that sometimes takes too much brain, sadly, what more can we do?
We can practice little things to improve our memory. These take actual time and actual focus. And again, I know you know them all, because I also know them all. That is really never the issue. The issue is why we don’t devote our time to doing the things we know we could do to help us in our lives. Physical health, mental health, we avoid the “we know!” things just the same.
But it is worth a shot to try again, right? That is part of our gift as humans. We make mistakes. We realize it. We can decide to care or not care about it. We can learn from them. We can do better. Or not. It is the circle of life, really. Of human life, to be specific.
Tips and tricks we already know but do not really do include: focusing on one thing at a time, meditation and mindfulness in awareness and concentration, and using visuals to connect the dots between things in our thought process. So, maybe a giant poster of a pen and paper next to the bedside table where we have our actual pen and actual paper? We might remember then.
We can also do the eating right and exercising. This is the answer to so much. This is the “Ugh, we know!” to so much. But, I am almost certain it works. Almost certain it has a truth to it.
Eating things that help our brains grow and our bodies feel their best is always a good idea. Do we do it? No, we don’t. Not always, not even most of the time. But, we could start. We could do it on a trial basis. Fish oils and Pilates every Monday morning, maybe yoga and a walk thrown in between Tuesday and Friday? Little things do add up.
Will this help you? Will this help me? Will I ever remember my lost poems, or my pretty important tip for whoever is running in the next election? Only time will tell.
And of course, the answer is always the same: if we remember to remember to do these things, then yes, it will help.
Jenny Justice is a mom, Sociology instructor, and writer. You can follow her on Medium and at Jenny Justice, Writer. She has been recognized as a Top Writer on Medium in Poetry, Parenting, Reading, Education, Books, Racism, Feminism and Climate Change, so far. You can follow her poetry at Justice Poetic.
Please enjoy these poems and other pieces that I did not forget to write down:
Reading About Dinosaurs
This comfort is strange, I’ll admit it; They were here for 180 million years…