August 9th, 2012
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This morning I got in the car and put the key in the ignition when my mind started wandering back to the house, to the kitchen in particular, and I wondered, “Did I unplug the tea kettle?”

It is embarrassing to admit but when I am leaving the house, there are many, many times when I cannot remember whether I turned something off.  I generally have a mental list of the same things that I need to do every day so why does this happen?

I really try to prevent going through the house over and over to recheck myself, but still the “forgetting” happens.

My friends and I make jokes about our so-called short attention span in the house.  It sounds ridiculous but I can start doing something in one room and then find something that takes me to another room and I suddenly remember I need to start the laundry which takes me to another room.  On top of that, I can’t tell you how many times I find myself in a room and I think to myself (or even say out loud): “Why did I come into this room?”  It’s so bloody inefficient.

Once I was driving to Mass and we were late.  I was a couple of blocks from church when suddenly it popped into my head that I left the dryer running!  Of course, I had to drive back and turn it off, but what really made it bad was the silence from my husband and son.

Not. One. Word.  To me, that’s worse than listening to the complaining about my mistake.

For those of you who find yourselves in a new life situation because of a death or a divorce, you may be in throes of trying to find interesting and efficient ways of dealing with closing up the house by yourself on a daily basis. 

Just as we share our thoughts and emotions concerning bereavement, we may also be able to help each other adjust to being solely responsible for the house, the car, the shopping and other things by sharing tried and true “survival tips.”

A friend of mine has started us off in the right direction by thinking of the wonderful idea of the following two “survival tips” – things that helped her when she was newly bereaved:

 1.      Make a list of things that need to be done before leaving the house and check them off as you get close to the front door:

— Did I lock the doors?
— Are all appliances turned off?
— Did I turn on or off the lights?
— Do I have my keys?
— Glasses?
— Wallet?
— Medications?

 2.      As you finish taking a pill, turn the bottle or pill container upside down after taking the medication to signal to yourself that you’ve taken the medication for the day.

I would love to hear from others who also have tried and true “survivor tips” that work for them.

Please share!  We’re all in this together!


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