On ‘senior moments’

In a few weeks, I will turn 63. I know I am not as physically fit as I was twenty years ago, but until recently, the number of ‘senior moments’ I encountered were few. Then, yesterday happened….

I had made an appointment to get the tires on my car replaced, and as there was no way for me to get a ride home, I decided to wait at the store while the work was done. At an estimated hour, this wasn’t going to be a fast operation, so I made sure to take my music player and a book with me. (Yes, that’s right, a real book, not an ‘ebook’ on a tablet or my smart phone.) Drove to the store, dropped the key off at the desk, pulled up something decent to listen to, and picked up where I’d left off in Patrick O’Brian’s excellent “H.M.S. Surprise”. As ways to pass the time, not bad at all.

The work ended up taking a little over the hour estimate, but on the up side, they charged me a few dollars less than the original estimate, so I had no real complaints. Paid up, and drove off to a nearby town to run an errand, and also to ‘wring’ the new tires out to see how they performed. No problems on the drive, errand accomplished, and back home in time for a (slightly) late lunch.

About now, you’re probably wondering what any of this has to do with ‘senior moments’. That started after lunch, when I decided to finish the chapter I’d been in the middle of….and couldn’t find my book. I knew I’d been reading it, I also knew I’d picked it up when I left the tire store because I had a distinct memory of it lying in the passenger’s seat as I drove to my errand. Then, there was this drop-off, and I couldn’t remember what I’d done to it when I got home. A quick walk out to the care revealed that I hadn’t left it there. Search through the house, all the usual places I lay a book I’m reading down….nothing.

Now frustration sets in, and knowing that is the worst state of mind to be in when attempting logical thought, I decided to get some other work done. Most of that work involved editing a short story about a young man experiencing the end of our civilization, and the strange world that replaces it (more when I finish it). A couple of hour later, the frustration has faded some, but I still have no clue what I might have done with the missing book. Supper preparations call, and I attend to them, plus the dirty dishes that result.

All of it gets done, and the book remains stubbornly missing, so I do what I should have at the beginning: I try to remember the sequence of events that occurred when I got home from my errand. That’s when it popped into my mind that I’d picked up a couple of bags of items, and rather than make a couple of trips and from the car, I’d dropped the items I’d had in the passenger’s seat into one of the bags….a bag I hadn’t emptied when I got home. After what these days is called a ‘face-palm moment’, I go to the bag in question and recover my missing book.

How I could have forgotten something so elementary is a question I will not ask, but for someone who prides himself on having an excellent memory, it was a sobering, humbling moment. I hope I do not experience another such incident soon, but something tells me that is a wish I will not have granted.

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