This morning, I went to an ATM machine to get some cash out to pay my cleaner. I haven’t used my Debit card in a while, because we have been mostly paying for things on our credit card and I haven’t had to physically get cash in a while. Guess what, I FORGOT MY PIN. After 3 tries, the ATM machine decided to “swallow” aka retain my card for security purposes…
I literally stood there and cannot for the life of me remember my very simple 4-digit PIN. I felt hopeless, useless, brain dead, and really annoyed at myself. How did I let my brain become so dependent on storing memories, important details about my LIFE, appointments, etc on my digital devices and other miscellaneous gadgets?! How did I allow myself to only be able to remember things if I took a picture of it and posted it on social media (so when I bring up a certain event or memory, I only remember that moment because I remember the photo I took… my memory is BECAUSE of the photos/videos I took, not the actual memory of the day itself). How do I not know off the top of my head if I am free this weekend, that I need to physically check my calendar to find out what is happening this week? If I am ever stranded in the middle of nowhere without access to my mobile phone, who do I call?! I do not know a single person’s phone number off the top of my head. Actually, that’s a lie. I know my old home phone number, of the old house I used to live in 25 years ago, and my parents don’t even live there anymore, in MALAYSIA… *face palm*
We live in a world so dependent on technology, that we have let our devices do all the work for us and our brains no longer have control and clarity over every aspect of our lives. If my house were to burn down tomorrow, where do I even begin to recover everything? I will have to physically know the passwords to everything including my banking details, insurance logins, government logins for tax, Centrelink, Medicare, superannuation, mobile phone plan, email addresses, and even miscellaneous things like social media accounts, Uber Eats (lol.. priorities!), Netflix and the kids’ school portal logins, even logins for their lunch orders! Oh and then there’s membership logins for various shopping sites, subscriptions, blogs, travel sites where I already have existing future bookings for, and the list just goes on! I haven’t even started talking about work yet… now that’s a whole other thing that I am completely technology dependent on.
It is scary when you think about it, all it takes is one hacker to come in and mess up your whole life by locking you out of your own email account, for example. Everything resets there, so if you are locked out of your email accounts… you are… well, how do I put this politely… nope, no politeness here… SCREWED.
So today really got me thinking, and I have decided that I really need to make an effort to use my brain a lot more. Back ups need to be put in place, in case of catastrophic events. I need to have better mental clarity, and take charge of my life without being 100% dependent on my mobile phone, laptop, and my diary (it’s not digital, but I am still useless without it because I write everything in the calendar). I need to be more mindful, especially when soaking in a special moment in time, and just try really hard to capture that moment into the memory bank in my brain, not my hard disk drive.
It seems impossible, especially when life is so busy and overwhelming at times with so much going on.
Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.
So, take a deep breath. List your priorities. Tackle them one at a time. Also, stop to really appreciate the things around you and soak it all in. Stare at your children like a weird obsessive stalker and truly register that point in time into your memories. Put your phone down and have a cup of tea, and indulge in conversations with your life partner. Start doing brain exercises by remembering basic things like anniversary dates, and what’s on this weekend without referring to your calendar. Avoid meaningless time-wasting activities like scrolling mindlessly on social media or playing games on your apps. P/S: I am not judging you if you do, because I am guilty of it too and trying to be more conscious about everything I do so I don’t rot my brain more… lol.
It is always easy to say you want to commit to something, and a lot harder to do. But at least, being aware means that you can take the first steps towards taking control over what causes your anxiety. After that incident this morning, and feeling completely hopeless as I stood there in front of that ATM machine, unable to remember my stupid PIN, I knew I had to do something about it. Starting with this blog post, and now I will make a cup of coffee and write a list. I love lists. I will write another post someday specifically about how much I love lists and how lists help me improve my state of mind! Peace out.