Tuesday, May 09, 2006

One Thing At A Time

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.

Oh. Right.

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.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Where Have I Been?

Long time no write. First, thanks to those who have kindly emailed or called to ask if I have died or something. And for those kind folks who took the time to actually make a phone call, I have a question: If you thought I had died, why did you call me? Seriously, I want to know because my phone has nowhere near that kind of range and reception and I'd love to know where you got yours. Anyway, no, I haven't died yet. At least I don't think so. Although, if I have in fact died, you will be pleased to know that there is chocolate in the afterlife! On the other hand, the treadmill is still here so perhaps (and this is the more likely scenario) I've been condemned to the Satanic realm. But hey, at least we have chocolate!

Life has been busy. For starters, I've fallen off the wagon. It's very sad and Hubs is thinking of staging an intervention. I refer of course to computer Solitaire. I realized a couple of years ago that I was wasting entirely too much time playing this game and in the end deleted the game from the computer. But that was the old computer. This is a new computer and sadly I have heard and answered the irresistible siren call of the cyberworld: Solitaire.

It may be okay for some people to play this game once in awhile, but I'm not one of those people. For me it's best to stay away from it all together. (I'm thinking it's probably a good idea I've never tried drugs or alcohol. I'd probably be ready to enter rehab within a week.) I now understand the desperation in my child's voice when he begs for "just one more game". What is this compelling need to see if this time I can go just a little faster, score more points, and see if my will to play is stronger than my desire to avoid carpal tunnel surgery? There is an answer of course. I believe it's called OCD. That's okay, though. There's medication for that. But lest you think I've just been sitting here for a month playing Solitaire, I would like to point out that I've been doing other things. And they have been exciting things too. For example, I've been playing Tetris on Nintendo with Son.

For those who haven't played Tetris before, it's a game in which differently shaped blocks fall from the top of the screen and the object of the game is to fit them into place forming a solid bar at the bottom of the screen. Once a bar is complete it vanishes. If the bars have gaps, they stay there and eventually build up to the top of the screen at which point Son yells HAHAHAHA! (Translation: Mom lost.) Not that this has been a total waste of time. First of all, I take advantage of every chance I have to spend with Son. He's already reached the age when having parents in public is absolutely mortifying. I figure it's only a matter of time before he realizes we are every bit as embarrassing at home. But wait! There's more! Not only do I get to spend time with Son, I can also pack a suitcase more efficiently, load a trunk full of groceries, and make the most of my cupboard and closet space! Thank you, Tetris!

I've also been spending a lot of time outside. Spring has finally decided to make an appearance here. We have a big yard and there are endless landscaping possibilities. The previous owners left wonderful flower beds and a HUGE lawn. There's nothing actually IN the flower beds, but they are there and I've spent much of my time outside working on them. Oh okay, I've spent a lot of time sitting on the deck thinking about working on them. Considering my lack of a green thumb (or any other green digits) I may be better off planting silk flowers in the yard like one of our neighbors does. (I'm serious here. Silk flowers. Year round.) So anyone with ideas for something simple (read low maintenance) and hard to kill, please let me know. I'll get Hubs to plant it right away.

I've realized, however, that this life of laziness and obsessive compulsive computer game playing can't last forever. And don't think I'm not really sad about that. But I've accumulated stories to tell over the last month, including the tale of the latest April Fool's joke on my brother. So I'll be back! (Just let me play one more game of Solitaire first.)