September 14, 2004

Stress watch

I did say I keep forgetting things. Yesterday I went out without my watch. After I'd gone about a hundred yards I looked, and found myself looking at my wrist rather than the time.

It's not at all unusual for me to forget my mobile, and then worry about it all day in case I've lost it. Conversely, when I did lose it - or was it stolen? - I couldn't be sure, since there was the definite possibility that I'd just put it down somewhere. I've spent half this morning looking for a disc that I must have put down somewhere. I'm always putting things back into the wrong pocket and then having brief panics in case they've gone missing. My keys! My keys! Oh, thank god, they're in my righthand pocket instead of the left. My switchcard! My switchcard! Oh, thank god, I've slipped it behind my credit card instead of in a slot on its own. This happens about half-a-dozen times a day.

You can see how I could actually be unsure whether I'd been burgled or not - are those things missing, or did I put them down somewhere? - and how I could entertain the possibility that I might, in fact, have left a front door open and simply not noticed it despite the cold and the wind and the fact that I would have to have walked right past it.

Fortunately, I didn't. But I'm doing too many things like that. If it's not going away for a weekend and forgetting to pack any clothes, it's going away for a week and forgetting my mobile recharger. Or getting off the Tube at the wrong station. Or crossing the road and forgetting to look for traffic first.

I already set two alarms in the morning in case I forget to set one of them, though that didn't stop me forgetting to take an alarm clock on another weekend away earlier this year. (And the last weekend I went away, I forgot my toothbrush. How traditional of me. I'm going away this weekend and getting up really early on Saturday. What, I wonder, am I going to forget?) Each day at work I make big lists of everything I need to do and tick them off as I go. Perhaps I should put a big sign up on my bedroom door, saying HAVE YOU REMEMBERED? and listing all the things I'm likely to have forgotten.

It wouldn't make any difference though. It'd probably be like all the reminders I put in my filofax (which are less than useful, anyway, if through carelessness I have it stolen). Half the time I never remember to open it. So I never read them.

As it is, I already dress most mornings like I'd forgotten something. Even when I haven't.


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