On Sunny Lane - Absent-Minded

By Dorothy Knight Burchett


Recently, I was putting a few bills in my wallet when I discovered a $10 bill and a one-dollar bill in my secret compartment. It’s just a little divider in the section where bills are kept. It’s where I put bills that I earmark for a certain purpose so I don’t spend it indiscriminately. So, when I saw that $11, I went into a panic.

Did I owe somebody $11 and forget to pay her/him? Did a small bill go unpaid? Did I plan to put it in the checking account to reimburse a cash purchase? Did I forget to pick up something I had ordered?

Should I deposit the money in my checking account? ask all of my friends if I owed them money? check all of the stores I frequent to see if I ordered anything? I was in a quandary. 

I have no idea when I put the money there, so I must have done it absent-mindedly. Now I think the word absent-minded is a misnomer. It sounds like my mind was absent while I was engaged in putting the money in the wallet. I don’t believe the mind leaves the body. I believe it is just concentrated on more than one subject at a time sometimes. For instance, I could have been concentrating on what I was going to fix for dinner, while using fewer brain cells to put the money in the wallet.

Perhaps, a better word to describe the process would be other-minded. It’s a marvelous thing that our minds and bodies can do more than one thing at a time. (Besides breathing and eating and walking and that kind of thing.) Some people are good at doing more than one thing at a time—others not so much.  And some people are good at it, but slip up once in a while.

At the time, I must have thought the dinner menu was more important than securing the money. So, I was actually prioritizing. Maybe, the word should be organize-minded, or even, forgetful-minded. After all, I did forget I put the money there.

In fact, I do a lot of things that I forget I have already done—like sweeping the floor, or feeding the cats. Or, maybe, it happens when I put something on the stove to cook and get sidetracked. That can have dire consequences.

Well, all of this postulating has done nothing to solve my dilemma. I still don’t know why I put the money where I did. I guess I’ll just spend it and face the consequences. And, maybe, I can solve future dilemmas if I just pay attention to what I’m doing—or pay the price, if I don’t.


Dorothy has recently published a book, “Miles and Miracles”, and it can be purchased on Amazon and Kindle, and is now available at 512 Main in Knox, PA. Her email address is: dorothybutzknight@gmail.com

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