I have to admit that as I'm getting older, there are certain things that occur that have me just a tad worried. I find myself getting up to get or do something, and before I take two steps, I'm at a total loss. If I retrace those two steps, sometimes it will come back to me, but more often than not, the thought is gone, usually never to return. Or, I put something down, and then I can't find it. Or, I put something away where it doesn't belong (refrigerated cereal, anyone?).
All that is probably just normal aging stuff, although it doesn't explain why I can remember a conversation from a date that occurred 30 years ago and can't find the keys I put down five minutes ago. My husband is amazed at the useless bits of trivia that float around in my brain. It amazes me too, but more than likely, this stuff is squeezing the really important things into a corner of my head that is not easily accesible. At least, that's what I tell myself. To counteract the effects of this malady, I make lists. Lots and lots of lists. I go through pads of post-it notes. While my cellphone allows me to leave a voice memo, I find if I don't write something down, it doesn't stick. So my pockets are filled with yellow post-it notes with to-do items scrawled on them, which I later combine into one written list on legal paper. I then proceed to go down this master list, crossing stuff off as it's done. Sometimes, I'll even add things like, "brush teeth" or "feed cats" just so I can cross them off and feel like I've actually accomplished something. Right now, for instance, I have four of those master lists in front of me. One is for organizing my daughter's study-abroad term (Money ordered, check. SIM card ordered, check. Credit card companies notified, check.). You get the idea. Then there's a list for house stuff like cleaning, laundry, etc. because if I don't write it down, it won't get done. And then there's a list for the fun stuff; reviews I have to do, books I have to read, etc. The final list is for things I've brought home from work; insurance claims, letters to write, bookkeeping, and other boring have to finish or the boss will yell, stuff.
Now, there are one or two people who have pointed out that my list making talent could be mistaken for a psychological disorder. I'm going to brush that aside for now. I like to think that it's my way of avoiding that minute in time when my brain finds itself in suspended animation and I'm left standing in the middle of a room, trying to remember something that shouldn't have been that easy to forget. And that, more than any pill I could swallow, keeps me (for the most part) calm and focused. It's a fair trade-off, I think.