I have no internal clock, and have a very skewed sense of the passage of time. One minute, one hour, a day... it’s all the same. How long is “5 minutes?” I could tell you what it means on a clock, but I don’t know what a minute or 5 or 60 feels like. While the adage “time flies when you’re having fun” seems to apply, it’s more like, “time seems to fly when you’re not watching the clock because you’re distracted.” I assume that’s what it means; it’s certainly true for me, and I have used this principle to get through long boring periods of my day by forcing myself not to look at what time it is. For me, memory of the number of timestamps I have recorded gives the illusion that time might have gone by slowly. But without a clock or a window to the outside? I have NO idea what time it is. I have to rely on my memory of when I last looked at a clock. This also explains why things that happened 20 years ago still seem as fresh as stuff that happened last week.
My theory then goes to explain why I am so forgetful: I have no time-based reminders. I have to remind myself of things by attaching them to events or objects, and then sometimes supplement that with a number. For instance, when I wake up in the morning, this is how I remember what to do:
I have to go to the bathroom, my body reminds me of that without thinking (and yay for that). I have attached morning bathroom “event” with a 2 part system: pills and shower. As part 1, my pills go by the number 6, which reminds me to take my 4 prescription meds, aspirin (for heart), and vitamin pill. Then part 2 is to take a shower, which is attached to the number 3. This reminds me to wash, shampoo, and brush my teeth. Sadly, this system is not perfect. In reality, I have to shave about once every 3 days, but often forget for a week. Luckily, my beard is so light and grows so slowly, this hasn’t been a problem. I could shave daily anyway, but that would mean shower become 4, and the 2-6-3 works because 2 and 3 are multiples of 6, but 4 isn’t (stay with me, this actually IS a problem in my head, part of some mild OCD I have). Deodorant is a step I often forget, and I try to attached it with event “towel off” but that doesn’t always work. On top of this, if I wake up late... like on the weekends, this throws the whole system off because often I had gotten up and gone to the bathroom and gone back to sleep. With no need to go to the bathroom when I wake up, I am reminded around 2-3pm that the reason my hair feels like Vaseline is that I have extra-oily hair, I didn’t shower, and probably smell like a port-o-potty on the wharf during a hot summer’s day.
Today is an example. Normally, before I leave, I have a the number 4 to remember: badge, cell phone, wallet, keys. But I had the pager, so I counted 4... and forgot my badge. Now work hates me. Every time I have to go to the bathroom, I have to have an escort. And I have diarrhea.
I hate my brain sometimes. I am so fucking broken.