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Claire Thinking
What was I thinking about?

I hate when the phone rings and I'm in the middle of slathering foundation on my face. The problem is that by the time I answer and get back to my makeup routine, I can't remember where I left off.

Did I do my left cheek? My nose? You would think that I could tell by looking, but my vision is only about as good as my memory.

I have those contact lenses where one eye focuses up close and the other far away. I can only see myself from about a foot and a half away from the mirror and that's just not close enough. From that distance my skin is flawless.

The eyesight problem I can live with. I got glasses in the sixth grade and I'm used to my limited vision. But the memory thing is becoming problematic.

I don't always remember to take my prescription medicines. Even worse is when I can't remember whether I took them or not. Then I have the dilemma of whether I spend the day without medication or if I risk doubling up.

Counting the pills that are left doesn't always help, because, well, I can't be entirely sure I've taken them every other day I was supposed to.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

I can't seem to remember where I park my car. I walk out of Target without any clue as to where I might have parked. My mind is a total blank. Maybe I get so involved in the shopping experience that it erases any memory of the time up until I cross the threshold into retail paradise. That's one theory.

But it happens at the grocery store too. I push my full cart up and down the rows trying to find my little black car. I know it can't be missing - who would try to steal a 2001 Kia? And why does this always happen when I get the cart with the wonky front wheel that flaps uselessly back and forth?

Not remembering where I parked is much scarier than not having makeup on - well, at least for me. After all, with my bad eyes I can't tell if I have the makeup on or not, and for the most part I don't have to look at me.

And for those people who do have to look at my partially made up face…well, I can recommend a brand of contacts that will solve the problem. But my car - I'm not getting home if I can't find my car.

So I've had to devise some memory aids, which work well…when I remember to use them. First, I turn my prescription bottle upside down after I've taken my pills so that I know that I took them. I stole this idea from my Dad. This works pretty well for me most days.

As for finding my car in a parking lot, I now only park in the aisle right in front of the door. That way I only have one row to search and I know that even if I have to park far away, eventually I'll get to my car.

One thing I don't understand. Why is it that I can remember the memory aids but not remember the stuff I was supposed to remember in the first place? Why do I need a middleman, so to speak?

I saw a memory expert on TV who claimed that you can always find your car keys if, when you put them down, you imagine them exploding. This doesn't work for me because, although I lose my keys all the time, it's always inside my purse. An explosion in there will just make them harder to find.

I'm not sure if this memory loss is a recent problem for me, or if it's just starting to bother me more. Maybe I've always been this way, but now it takes more energy to be scatterbrained and I'm feeling the strain.

My friends who are a few years older tell me it's all part of the aging process - or possibly Lipitor. I'm not on Lipitor, but I'm not any happier about the other option. At least I can be thankful that I have good cholesterol.

My parents are both in their 80's and are still sharp as tacks, so I'm not overly worried about these lapses. Still, I'd feel better if I could find my nametag for work and remember the combination to my bike lock. And I seem to have misplaced a library book - but where?

Funny how I didn't have any trouble remembering where I stashed the dark chocolate M & M's. (Yes, they're back!!)


Feeling scatterbrained? Claire enjoyed the book: Who Killed What's-Her-Name?: A Peaches Dann Mystery (Peaches Dan Mysteries)

Have a question or comment for Claire?
e-Mail her at Claire@ClevelandWomen.com

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