Bird’s-eye View

An Opinions Q&A Column Exploring Curiosities

Graphic by Mary Kroeck

Graphic by Mary Kroeck

Mary Kroeck

Q: I seem to be having a hard time remembering things lately. Even though I know I should write things down before I forget them, it seems like I get interrupted before I find a pen and paper. Then I lose the thought. Do you have any advice?


A Forgetful Friend

Dear Forgetful Friend,

Whenever I’m being forgetful and making silly mistakes, my mom always tells me I’m too stressed out. Although I don’t always like to believe her, many studies suggest she’s right–as moms usually are. So, the first thing I would suggest is trying to figure out the source of your forgetfulness. If it’s stress, try to make some time for yourself to set your mind up for success. You can try meditation, yoga or different forms of exercise to help get  blood flowing better, unwind and be able to focus on what you need to. Poor nutrition can also lead to forgetfulness so make sure you’re getting the right amounts of protein, water, vitamins and other nutrients.

As for that pen and paper issue: That handy voice recorder app on most phones can be a lifesaver! Instead of searching for paper, which will probably get lost anyway, try using the voice recorder to make yourself memos throughout the day. If you have a notes app or can send text messages to yourself that might work too. If you’ve forgotten where you put your phone, well, that might be more tricky. In that case, consider hiring a personal assistant (i.e. get a friend who you can pay coffee, meals and lots of “thank yous” to) who will help keep you on track–think Paris from “Gilmore Girls” but less crazy.

Q: I’m really trying to be more healthy. I’d like to exercise more, but I can’t seem to find the time or the motivation. I signed up for a gym, but don’t have the confidence to go. Please help!


No Time for Treadmills

Dear No Time for Treadmills,

I’m not a fan of treadmills either, but I do like pretending I’m a fish and doing some laps in a pool or pretending I’m in the Tour de France and riding a stationary bike. I really think the key to exercising is to make it fun. If something’s fun, you’ll want to make time for it, even if it means waking up a little earlier.

A while back, I saw Jennifer Hudson on a television show talking about how she really enjoys playing basketball. So, as her form of exercise, she’d grab a friend and go to a court. She found the fun in it and that helped her stay motivated to reach her goals.

When it’s cold and gloomy in Chicago, it’s hard to think about waking up when it’s still dark outside and going for a run . If you joined a gym, here’s the good news–they’re usually open at odd hours, some are even open 24 hours a day. I’m sure if you called your gym and asked when their slow times are, you might have a pool, rock climbing wall or weights all to yourself! Remember, you’re paying to use the facilities. No one should ever make you feel bad about your self-improvement. So, make a kickin’ track list, grab your workout clothes and find your fun! It may not happen on the first day, but little by little, as you start seeing results, your motivation will increase. Don’t give up!

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