Bubba and I will be several blocks from home when one of us turns to the other and asks, “did you lock the door?”
The question triggers doubt. The doubt clings. When that question gets asked, we’ve learned to turn around, go home and check. Then we can go forward, unencumbered by worry.
Locking the door is an automatic habit. We do it absently. Most of the time. Except for those times we forget.
Because we occasionally do forget, our question—did you lock the door—compels us to return home.
With all our mindfulness exercises, we kept thinking there must be some way to help us remember if we locked the door.
It’s a professionally-approved system, elegant in its simplicity.
As I insert my key in the lock—we live in a dumb house and are damn proud of it—I say, out loud as I turn the key, “I locked the door.”
Sometimes I say it twice, always out loud.
If Bubba is there, he says it back, “you locked the door.”
It’s very low-tech. No app required. Short. Concise. Engages the brain in actively noting the task as it’s being done.
To help me not view it as a sign I’m getting older, I imagine it’s like a pilot going through their pre-flight checklist. I don’t care how many hours they’ve flown, I want them verbally saying each item on the list as they do it.
If it’s good enough for them flying a plane, it’s good enough for our home security system.