I appreciated this piece from The Christian Pundit.
I can relate. I've spent 25 years with Mr. Absent Minded Professor. He's also moonlighted as Mr. Procrastinator, and together we produced Miss Absent Minded Procrastinating Professor.
I know absent minded people.
The advice in this article is good. I've learned over the years that nagging and reprimanding don't work, and in fact, they just add to the difficulty. I've also learned that absent mindedness is a manifestation of a mind which is organized differently than mine. My husband never knows where his car keys are, but he will remember snippets of a piece he read in National Geographic fifteen years ago. It's the same thing with my daughter. She frequently does not know where her cellphone is, but she will remember elements of a book she was studying years ago. As for me, I may forget those details of books read in days gone by, but if you ask me where your wallet is, (assuming it's at my house; don't ask me where it is in your house) I can tell you exactly where it is. Different organization skills.
One thing about this piece, though, I would qualify. Being absent-minded is not a sin itself, but it becomes sin very easily, especially when the individual knows his pre-disposition. Someone like this has to find coping mechanisms in order to deal with this because serious things can happen when important things are forgotten.
When I was a mother of young children and finishing my degree part time, before the days of online course registration, I registered via mail for the course I had chosen to take the following semester. I had just taken a semester off to have a baby. My daughter was almost three when my second child was born. I asked my husband to mail my registration. On my registration form, I indicated my two alternate choices, should my preferred course be full. I was disappointed, but not in mourning, when I found out I didn't get my first choice. Oh well, at least I got the second choice.
Many weeks later as I was cleaning out the pockets of my husband's coat (absent minded people also tend to be hoarders of paper) and I came across a receipt for something my husband took to the post office. I looked at the address it was sent. It was my course registration, which had been sent a full three weeks after I gave it to my husband. In fact, it had been sent the day before it was due, and it was sent priority. So, that's why I didn't get my course of choice. He had forgotten and mailed it just in time. I was very thankful he'd mailed it in time.
Yes, I could have taken it to the post office myself. I did in the future, but when one has an infant less than a month old, it's spring in Saskatchewan, and I don't have a car all day, it isn't an option.
Yes, I was upset. Yes, he heard about it. No, in the long run, it wasn't the end of me. But it was a lesson to my husband to work to be more aware of his own disposition.
This scenario is replayed in the life of my daughter who has had income tax issues as a result of her being absent-minded. We are working with her to find ways to keep on top of such details.
So, no, it's not a sin to be absent minded, but often, absent-minded people are not willing to come out of the little worlds where they live, and that can be problematic. Sometimes, letting our absent minded natures run amok is a manifestation of no self-control. I, as a woman with the tendency to snap at people in anger, must learn self-control even though I say I can't help it. The absent minded person often feels that his disposition is not able to be helped. Both of us need to pray for help in this area of self-control. My husband has improved a great deal with his absent minded disposition over the years.
I know that my husband's absent mindedness does not mean he doesn't love me. He doesn't notice every time I get a haircut or when I cook something new, and that doesn't matter. But as his wife who wants to see him meet with integrity all aspects of his life, it's necessary for me to help him with that disposition so that it doesn't become a sin.
And the upside of living with someone who is absent minded? He doesn't bat an eyelash when you tell him you've forgotten to wash his socks and underwear.