Once upon a time, I was able to multi-task. I could cook dinner, study for an exam, and carry on a conversation at the same time. I took that ability for granted. I assumed it was something I'd always be able to do. Of course there's a major difference between then and now. I was younger then.
I always knew that as I got older things would change. I guess the surprise is the fact that I got older so fast. Just last week I could read a book as I held it in my hands. Now I find myself holding the book out at arm's length. By next week I'll no longer be able to read at all without an assistant to stand down the street and hold the book up in my line of vision.
I've discovered that a lot of people mumble. I have to ask them to repeat themselves. Most bothersome is the fact that I've caught myself leaning toward them, trying to get my "good ear" close enough to pick up their words. It was bad enough when I realized coloring my hair was going to be something I had to do to maintain my natural color, rather than a fun change. But I've come to terms with these things. Almost.
What I'm having a hard time with is the loss of my ability to effortlessly perform mindless tasks with my hands, while letting my mind occupy itself with more interesting things. That's right. I have lost my ability to multi-task. I'm telling you, this loss is harder to deal with than the reality that gravity is really not my friend. I've suspected for some time now that my multi-tasking days may be drawing to a close. After my trip to the bank today I have decided that the end is closer than I thought.
It seemed like a simple plan--an errand I've done many times before. I needed to go to the bank, then to the grocery store. The doctor had written some prescriptions that I needed to have filled at the pharmacy. And then, assuming I could still remember where I live, I would go home.
I made it to the bank without incident. Well, if you consider making it to the bank without getting lost, getting a traffic ticket, or being involved in any kind of pedestrian related accident "arriving without incident" and frankly, I do. Okay, sure I knocked my water bottle over, soaking my grocery list and my jacket, but still, I thought I was doing fairly well.
I pulled into the drive-thru at the bank and with one hand I quickly stuffed my deposit into the canister, pushed the little button and sent it on its way while I used my other hand to attempt to salvage my grocery list. Like I said, so far so good. Or so I thought.
"I'm not sure we can help you with this transaction."
"Why? Is there a problem?" How could there be a problem? It was just a deposit? I'd filled out the deposit slip, endorsed the checks...what else was there? I was at the right bank, right? At that point, I realized the teller was holding something to the window, pointing at it and smirking. I squinted as I tried to see what she was holding up for my inspection.
I smiled sheepishly and then laughed. "Um...Yeah. I'm probably going to need those later at the pharmacy," I admitted as I watched her stuff the prescriptions back into the canister.
"It might be best. I can give you a lollipop, though, if that helps."
"Oh, yes. That would be great, thanks!" We laughed a bit more and as I prepared to drive away I saw her talking to another teller and pointing in my direction. Nice.
On the bright side, I'll probably forget all about this little embarrassment as soon as I stumble across yet another way to embarrass by self, which given my record, should be any minute now.
At least she didn't ask if one of my prescriptions was for Aricept. Or perhaps she did. I forget.