Last weekend, I pulled out of our garage and ran smack into Dave’s car. Boom! The fact that I was going less than 5 miles per hour and backwards minimized the damage to just a large small dent that Dave was able to pop out. But scrape marks on both of our cars remain as a reminder of my stupidity.
I have pulled out of that garage at least a million times. Dave’s car is always parked behind me. Why this time did I fail to turn the wheel?
I forgot his car was there.
The idea that such an obvious and simple fact had momentarily escaped my head was disconcerting. Aside from this brain hiccup, I felt perfectly fine. My mind was completely clear and then …. crash. I have been looking for signs of my untimely death from a brain tumor for some time now (worrying out loud about that which frightens me is my superstitious way of inoculating myself). Perhaps this accident was the first sign. I couldn’t ignore the fact that lately I have been forgetting items on my to-do list at work. Sure I am forgetting item number 17 in a list of 25, but forgetting all the same. I never used to forget anything.
At lunch earlier this week, my friend Sue shared that she sometimes forgets whether or not she has taken medication on a certain day. Her Mom suggested getting a (gulp) pill box with the days of the week on them. We snickered at the thought but I think Sue is going to invest in one. Sigh. We are not 90 year old women. We are in our low 40s for Pete’s sake! Is 40 the new 90 when it comes to mental acuity?
I recall my grandmother in her later years lamenting to us that she forgot things that she used to remember. “I think I have Alzheimers!” she would cry. But my father would reassure her saying, “You don’t have Alzheimer’s, Ma. You have Sometimers.”
I think I am starting to see signs that I have inherited this disease as well. Early Onset Sometimers.
I joke but this is more than walking into a room and forgetting why you are there. My case of Sometimers is at least one threat level above the basic case. It’s forgetting occasional meetings, not returning important emails, or backing into cars at very slow speed. I do believe my Sometimers is exacerbated by the multi-tasking that has become the bane of my waking hours. During the day, I have no less than 5 different emails I need to check while I work. In the evening, I am driving, helping with homework, exercising, communicating with Dave, making more plans, blogging, and caring for pets. I focus on the current task, but not for long, and my mind jumps from universe to universe at breakneck speed. No wonder things get lost along the way.
After processing the Great Driveway Collision of 2011, I’ve come to the conclusion that Sometimers is not curable, but it is treatable. I need to pay more attention, slow down as I move from task to task, and make more lists. Would I have to do this 10 years ago? Probably not. Do I still think this is a sign of aging? Absolutely yes. How long do I think this has been going on?
I can’t recall.