Well… as I get older I am realizing that either I am in the midst of the beginnings of Alzheimer’s (reticent to admit that I perhaps have been this distracted all along) or in very deep denial. First of all you would need to understand that I have a close-to photographic memory and can easily remember random facts, relative’s birth dates (same difference for some folks) and have total recall of a sundry of information. Illustration of this gift is that I can remember every single item and its correct price without exception on a $400 grocery order. I can often remember the most detailed account of any given situation not to mention recount of childhood memories in full Technicolor. I never write anything down because I have relied on for years on the ability to recall almost anything instantaneously. Can I remember where I put the keys, the bank card or even my cell? No… not unless I make a HUGE, conscious effort to retain in my head where I stashed them….I almost never remember where they are.
At first I thought this failing memory was due to being “the keeper” of so many kids. As I am distracted and often doing a million other things while trying to remember what I am doing with the everyday, regular, boring stuff such as the keys. Then I realized it was a much deeper problem (although I do have talents that might offset this handicap). Honestly, if my services are required to break up a scuffle among the troops, attend to the wounded, court-martial the perpetrator how in the world can I be expected to know where the keys to the army tank are? This is why I could never join the army. I would be marvelous at planning and scheming for the battle, plotting the attack, coping with the casualties and delivering the aid and rations. Just do not ask me where I parked the tank and for Heaven’s sake DO not ask me where the keys are. I just will not remember. I draw a complete blank…almost every time.
Up to this point in my life I found this a debilitating part of my personality. The reality that I needlessly live on the edge of crisis and chaos as I spend hours searching through my purse (may as well be the black hole of outer space) for such mundane items as the bank card, my car keys and more often than not my cell phone (which is usually discovered later…on my lap UNDER the very purse I am searching through!!!).
My husband hates being in any store at the check-out with me as I then can never find my bank card. I must say the stores I frequent are very patient with me. Now my husband (if he is with me) tries to remind me to look ahead of time (like before I go in the store) for my bank card (no doubt to save him reoccurring embarrassment as the people in line become exasperated with my seeming incompetence.) I smile and tell everyone that my brain is busy somewhere else (I am in total denial).
This “forgetting where I put stuff” is becoming very frustrating. It gets worse because for very important things it is disastrous. I am conscious of placing those items in a very “safe place.” When asked later to reveal the location of the “safe place” (you know where one might store things like the mortgage papers, birth certificates and health cards)…my mind draws another blank. Now before the whole world thinks I am totally “non-compos mentis” much of the strategy behind finding a “safe place” has to do with the little fingers that live here. Depending on the item, not only must it be safe but it also means that it is kept dry, flat, high-up, enclosed (no dust) while being retrievable. The little kids will search and destroy (and occasionally snack on the item) and the bigger ones will do crazy things like take out their birth certificates to school (presumably to show friends and hopefully not to create fake IDs) and then lose them costing time and money to replace. So my “safe place” often becomes so “safe” that I have no idea where the loot actually is!
This not remembering where I put things terrifies the children. They BEG my husband to confiscate items being seized through disciplinary measures. The kids tell their dad “please don’t let mom ground me off that …by the time she remembers where she put it I will be in college!” So TRUE! One little guy’s Gameboy I put in a “safe place” (largely to protect it from his thieving brethren) and when I finally discovered it a year and a half later not only was the battery an issue but the child had completely outgrown the game!
But in spite of my hapless mind it does work wonders for saving money. I put the funds in a “safe place” and decades later I find dollars I forgot I was trying to save. While there are those that would feel badly for the distress I cause to my family with my absent mindedness…I this memory issue also help me to forget most of their trespasses and therefore they all live to see another day. I am not the grudge bearing type…good thing too I am not as I doubt I would remember to stay angry!
There is the ultimate “safe place” I am still working on finding. It would be one where my tribe might not find me for whole 30 minutes…(I can dream) or maybe if I forget where I have hidden myself I might have a forced vacation (and like it)!
Memo to self… “Understand you are an old goat and start making writing this down!” (Problem is l would like put those notes in a “safe place” too!)
The Garden Goat