Head like a

Sieve. Absolutely doolally. That’s me.

I’ll give you an example: last week I was on my phone talking to my husband. After a few minutes I said into my phone, ‘I have no idea where my phone is.’ It didn’t dawn on me until he pointed out that I was holding the blinking thing to my ear.

I don’t think I was as much of a scatterbrain before children, but then, I can’t remember that either. The trouble is, my head is now mostly full of the things the children have to do, a little full of my own worries and slightly cloudy with MS stuff. I forget names frequently and I double-book myself constantly. If the thing isn’t in the calendar hanging on the kitchen wall then you can forget it, because I certainly will.

It seems slightly endearing when I’m telling you funny stories about phantom phones, but it can be very stressful.

I have discovered a few useful ways of setting reminders -I tell Alexa (you know her) to set alarms, I use the oven timer, I put things in my phone calendar. That’s worked so far, but I’m sure there’ll be a day when the alarms go off or the reminder pings and I have no idea why! When I was growing up my mum used to pull out her hanky and frown at the knot in it, asking us all, ‘what’s that for?!’

There’s a popular reminder method where you put a poka yoke into your day to trigger your memory. Poka-yoke is a Japanese term that means “mistake-proofing” or “inadvertent error prevention”. It is used in factories to help equipment operators avoid mistakes (poka). In my house, it helps us to go to sleep, safe in the knowledge that a reminder is there for us in the morning. Sometimes I’m already in bed when I remember I need a poka-yoke, so I just change round the books on my bedside table or fling a random thing on the floor (not my husband!) that I’ll trip over in the morning.

When you think about it, all the things that fly around our heads and make our hearts flip over are usually insignificant. It’s the bigger stuff that matters and that sticks. Like a sieve, the tiny things can fall through, but the more substantial things stay put. You know who you are, you never forget the people that matter to you, you treasure the precious things. So what if I burn the dinner, miss a hair-cut, call someone Jane for a year when their name’s actually Louise or walk around the house searching for the phone in my hand!

I don’t mind being a sieve-head if I still hold onto and love the most important parts of my life.

Now, why on earth is there a mop handle propped up against the door?

It’ll come to me…

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