I know I wrote a love letter to my new BFF Topamax at some point recently. I’d go through my archives but all of the punctuation looks wonky when I do that and then I get stabby because the only way I know how to fix that is to do it by hand. For all eight hundred of my posts.

Like I don’t have anything better to do than, you know, that. I’d rather pluck my leg hairs with my teeth, thankyouverymuch.

And I do loves me that drug, trust me. Today, for the first time in 5ish months, I haven’t had to take anything for my head and that, trust me, is something that kind of makes me want to pop a celebratory Vicodin.

I’ve been sort of downplaying the side effects though, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life it’s this: the more attractive you are, the crazier you are, cheese in a can isn’t natural, hot dogs are proof that God loves us.

The only thing we can control in life is how we react to situations we’re put into.

I can, for example, choose to take my fucked up childhood and use that as a crutch, as a means to justify my bitterness, my feminism, my hatred of the world, the reason no one loves me or the reason that I hate addicts or people who mock addicts or people who are successful where I am not.

Or I can say, WOW, that was fucked up, have a good laugh, try to remember that at the end of the day we’re all–even OUR PARENTS–only human. And human beings? They fuck up.

But the Topamax is slowly eroding my memory, which, while it can be the butt of many jokes at my expense, and I’m certain it will be, because OBVIOUSLY, and I do expect to get it back, but for now? I can barely remember to wipe my ass. Come to think of it…

Anyway.

The problem with this isn’t that it’s now making me a total nutter with the attention span of a gnat, it’s that no one expects it from me. It’s like going to a steak house, ordering a fillet, and then getting served a stir-fry (this was, come to think of it, the same analogy I used to describe my BlogHer experience!). Totally unexpected.

You can call me a lot of things and make most of them stick, hell, I’ll HELP you call me a lot of things, but absent minded is nowhere on that list. Self-deprecating, fiercely loyal, unable to use a comma to save my own life, totally self-absorbed (dude. I write a BLOG), all of those fit, but having to adjust to having a memory bank so full of holes that dust is pouring out, now, I barely know how to handle it.

The symptoms, the doctors say, will subside. And I’ll adjust. I’m getting a real! live! day! planner! because I cannot fucking stand having a calendar on a PDA/phone/computer, no matter how many times I’ve argued this with Dave. Running tally on this particular argument is 597 and he’s STILL not convinced me.

I’m also making folders in my Google Reader because I realized with 464 feeds (and counting) there is no way I can possibly keep up with everyone every single day and still manage to stay sane. Well, okay, so there’s a good debate there as to if a person who calls herself “Aunt Becky” can ever call herself “sane,” but you know. I do want to stay connected to all of you, but I need some tips as to how.

So, this, my Internet friends, is where Your Aunt Becky turns the tables neatly and asks you how YOU manage to do it all? Do you have any tips for me on how to get and stay organized?

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

73 Responses to Pardon Me While I Rifle Through My Empty Brain Cavity With My Index Finger

  • V says:

    Google calendar for events (i.e. class, work), paper day planner for tasts (i.e. homework), to-do sticky on my desktop (http://www.morun.com/) with neat strike-out feature.

    Good luck! I definitely hate when my memory goes (it happened to me this Spring, I think from drinking too much actually!).

  • Lindsey says:

    Don’t worry Aunt Becky, I have no memory either and I am not on meds (yet, right now, maybe I need some). I just blame my swiss cheese of a brain on Luisa. After all, isn’t that why we had kids? to blame them for things?

  • Badass Geek says:

    Dude, I am so unorganized, a day planner would do nothing for me. The only way I’d be organized is if I burned everything I owned, and organized all the new stuff I bought once I brought it home.

  • Leah says:

    I had the same problem when I was on Topamax. I’d be on the phone and couldn’t remember what we were talking about. I got off of it and got my memory back. Now, I just have to deal with the migraines that come with it…

  • Hannah says:

    Your punctuation is fine, better than fine actually. Honestly, it’s a welcome break from all of the other half-assed attempts at punctuation in other blogs I read.

    I realize that’s not what you asked us to comment on, but I got no idea about the other thing. Sleep easy tonight, you DO know how to use a comma!

  • Kelly says:

    I can never remember anything either. I’ll be checking back to see what suggestions everyone gives you…I’m lucky if I can get everyone out of the house on time with clothes on everyday.

  • Brenda says:

    Oh, wait, you mean we are SUPPOSED to be “organized”? Well, shit, why didn’t someone TELL me that?

    Personally, I have always found that “OMG, am I supposed be somewhere else/doing something else/talking to someone else right now?” feeling part of what keeps me moving through the day. Without that and caffeine I would just be one big human area rug.

    I have started carrying around a little notebook with me and I write everything down in it because I have finally learned/accepted that I just can’t remember everything – um – ANYTHING anymore. Of course trying to remember where that little bastard is has taken over the wattage……

    Thanks, Beck, for this post because A) I realize I am so not alone and B) because I stopped what I was doing to read it, I got a reboot on the day! Now, what DID I come in here for?

  • Dude, I’m the most disorganized person in the world. I just got out two new folders so I can try and seperate a month’s worth of notes/homework for my different classes, instead of having everything crammed into one binder.

    You should get Lola’s ass on this. I bet she’s completely organized.

  • did i just read a post about something? someone? some drug?

    i gotta pee.

  • ainebegonia says:

    I write on my arms and hands because if I write myself a little note, I’ll lose the paper I wrote it on. If I put something in my calendar, I forget to look at it. I tried using the calendar on my phone, too hard to put in the simple stuff.

  • Ummm. What?

    Nope. I am the distraction kid. I am not organized(except around trip-planning and Christmas shopping. Then I type-A the daylights out of my poor, long-suffering family). I pretty much free-wheel through life letting things happen to me. And while I have tried a day planner and have taken “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” course the bottom line is that I like life to happen and I feel artificial and weird when I try to force it into a box. Oh, and I have never had a memory to speak of, so I don’t know that I am losing it. Oh, and Steven Covey can bite me!

    Wish I could have given some useful advice, but I . . .Is that bunny wearing a monacle? oooh, shiny!

  • I, too, suffer from CRS (can’t remember shit) Syndrome, but I’m an old fuck, so that’s my excuse. I get my cardio workout just walking from room to room asking myself what I’m doing there. I have to write everything down and am personally responsible for the inventor of Post-Its being a gazillionaire. So sorry about the wretched headaches.

  • Tina says:

    Hahahahahahaha!!! Hold on while I stop laughing my ass off.

    I am so fucking disorganized. It takes me an entire day to mail a letter. Or a hat ;) Because I have to find a pen (Chances are MoD is using it to draw on the cat). Then find an envelope. Then find a pen again because MoD stole it. Then find the stamps and the address of the person I am mailing all while Juzilla is screaming… you get the idea.

    I hate online calendar things. I manage to fuck it up and never get the reminders. I have one on my iphone, but it’s more long-range things, like mail Aunt Becky’s hat before winter and such. I much prefer writing lists on paper. But I just lose them.

    Really, I just sort of bumble through the days. I forget more than I remember. But as long as the dishes are clean and there are clean clothes and food in the house, I don’t worry about it. You’re just going to have to surrender to the insanity.

  • Hilly says:

    I have one of those annoying “steel trap” memories however, ever since I went on my precious (they doctors call it Celexa, but whatever), my memory seems to elude me more often than not. Dude, I was standing in line with one of my friends and had to call her by her blog name because I could not for the life of me remember her real name! I mean wow, I never use her screen name so I was about to go postal over the whole thing!

    I make lists and stick post-it notes to everything, even when my memory is good. I get reminders through my Google Calendar and Outlook. When it comes to blog reading, I have folders and get to one folder every day unless suddenly the “free time fairy” drops by. I do what I can and when I can and the rest can suck it.

  • Tina says:

    Oh, so I was sorting through my maternity crap to take to the consignment shop and I found a pair of DH’s pants. I have NO idea how they got there because, well, I’m bigger than he is when I’m not pregnant so no chance of my wearing them while gestating. So! While the clothes may be clean, they are apparently all mixed up.

  • tracey says:

    i love day planners. tried to use one on my computer, but there’s that silly little problem in that if it’s on the computer, it’s not easily accessible when i’m at the grocery store and can’t remember a- why i’m there or b- what comes next.

  • IB says:

    First, you want to continue to build the perception that you can’t remember shit. It helps immensely as eventually people will stop relying on you to follow-through on anything important. This will greatly reduce your “to-do” list to a couple of essentials like, eat lunch and watch tv. It’s been working for me for years. Which, reminds me, I’ve got some television to get back to.

  • First of all, I do have anywhere near 464 feeds in my Google Reader. I have, like, 30. After that, your guess is as good as mine.

  • Kat says:

    I buy one of the huge teachers desk calenders that go from Aug to July. I hang it in the kitchen and use it to write down everything from what bills need paid that day to who has soccer. I buy the teacher one so that at the begining of the school year so I can write down the whole year of days off and whatnot.

  • kalakly says:

    Wait, did you ask a question? What were we talking about? Ummm, can we all say ‘useless’ together and if so then we have just described my current mental capabilities. Sorry dude, I’ve got nothing.

  • I write everything down. If it isn’t written down in my own handwriting it never will happen. I carry a notebook & pen around with me because if I am shoe shopping and an idea occurs to me for dinner, I will never remember it if I don’t write it down. An hour later I’ll be standing in the grocery store working my way back through the last hour’s worth of thoughts that I can recall hoping to pull the dinner idea out of the tangle & rarely succeed. I have lists of things out the wazoo.

    My Google reader has a dozen folders sorting out the blogs I read by category. The ones I read daily are in morning, afternoon & evening folders. The rest are by topic and I read a topic or so a day.

  • Luna says:

    Google reader folders rock. And paper daybooks with a space for lists.

  • MK says:

    Well here’s one helper – I don’t post every day, so I won’t be adding to your nutty amount of Reader every day.

    Organization. I sort of do best w/ lots of chaos – isn’t that the way it usually works? I keep a notebook. Not a calendar or planner. But just a notebook w/ lists and phone numbers and all kinds of shit in it. It goes w/ me everywhere.

    I also have a blackberry – I can read e-mails when “playing” outside w/ the kids or on the pot or in traffic. And I use the calendar on that, too.

  • We have a dry erase board with tasks on it we need to complete for the week. Like school pictures, open houses, games, shit like that. I also have virtual sticky notes on my desk top and I put reminders on those too. Good luck, love!
    *HUGS*

  • Karyn says:

    My memory is GONE. I’ll start a conversation, and by the time I get to the point, I’ll have forgotten it. Of course, I’m blaming this on my parasite. He’s due out in a couple months, which means I’ll need a new excuse then, and I’m leaning towards sleep-dep. :)

    We have a dry erase calendar on the side of the fridge, and I write down appts on that. There’s also a spot that’s just for notes, so I’ll write down little things like phone messages there. Since it’s on the fridge, I look at it ALL the time, as I eat 24/7 (or at least it feels like I do).

    Good luck with the lack of memory. Hopefully, that symptom will go away, and you can return to feeling on top of everything. I never do, so I’ll be jealous when it happens!

  • Sarah says:

    Feeling your memory slip away sucks, especially when you KNOW.. or at least you’re fairly certain.. or you think, wait.. uh… damnit. But when you’re relatively clearish that you used to be kind of on the ball with a brain like a noose… or wait, no.. steel trap? YEAH! That. And now it’s slipping away … that feeling just blows. It blows nasty barnyard related things. All over the place.

    DO NOT LET THAT MAN CONVERT YOU. (Bless his SOUL) *EVER*. Computers and crackberries and all that.. THEY LIE. They DIE. They EAT YOUR LIFE. Hardcopy backups are key. I have a lot of stuff on my crackberry, but it’s all written down on a big ass calendar too. That way, my phone reminds me what’s supposed to happen (I have to set it up so it reminds me 2-3 days in advance, the night before, the morning of, and then about an hour beforehand, cause I’m a sketchy broad) but I can stop and look at all of it too, at any time. The “big picture” if you will.

    As far as google reader? Good luck with that.

  • Rebecca says:

    The problem with using phones, blackberries, and such, is that they only tell you about the event when it starts.

    Example: Field Trip to Grants Farm 9am Saturday Sep 26. …..Scheduled around a month ago. On Sep 26 at 9am the phone buzzes me with this information. I’m still in bed. The place is 45 minutes away. The event lasts 3 hours. It’s all done and over with if you ask me so I go back to bed.

    Example: Manually Writing Field Trip 9am in red ink on the calendar that hangs on the inside of my pantry door I consult with at least once, per day, alerts me every single day about the event. Thus I am actually at Grants Farm at 9am on Sep 26

    Do I even make any sense?

  • a says:

    I was going on vacation while my husband was going away to work and my daughter was going to stay at grandma’s. I made lists for everyone. I checked everything 5 times. Then I forgot important stuff for my daughter (the potty seat) and my husband (steroid cream). I probably forgot something of my own, but I can’t remember. So what I’m saying is, I can’t help you. Unless you would like advice about organizing paperwork…I can file like anything!

    My husband has this simple philosophy that he likes to blab at me…Life is a juggling act with rubber balls and glass balls. Just keep the glass balls (ie keeping the kids and the Daver alive) going because the rubber balls (blog reading, housekeeping) will just keep bouncing until you can catch them again.

  • kyslp says:

    This is funny because I was going to ask you how you do it all. Because dude, this blogging shit is a lot of work. For what? I don’t know other than to satisfy my narcissistic urges.

    I have fibromyalgia and with that comes fibro brain fog. I write everything down – all day long. (I keep a little notebook with me like a security blanket.)Also, I try to take care of bidness as it comes in. (School papers, bills, etc.) I make to-do lists for the day, week, month, etc. A calendar is a must. I try to keep the house as organized as possible. (Difficult with kids and pets.)

    My last suggestion: Hire a personal assisstant to keep track of things for you. You can pay her with all the mad cash you earn from blogging, right?

  • Kate says:

    I have a day planner that is lovingly referred to as “My Brain”. I can say, “Hey, where’s My Brain?” and 3 or so children will begin looking for my little black book that contains the information necessary to keep me functioning. The calendar portion is full of appointments. It’s the only way I can keep everything for everyone straight.

    I also have every doctor, therapist, pharmacy, orthotist, wheelchair company, feeding supply company, catheter company, SSI worker & disability service contact person’s phone number that my family uses programmed into my cell phone (which is actually only a Trac Fone since I’m not so cool as to own a ‘real’ cell ~ oh, it also contains the phone numbers of my actual friends. The ones not connected to me via a medical condition). That way, I can access anyone I may need even if My Brain is not at my fingertips.

    Lists are my friend, too. I’ve decided there’s too much information in my life for one person to remember without help, so I don’t even try anymore.

    I have to say, Aunt Becky, I love your attitude about dealing with the past. I subscribe to that theory, myself.

  • Nel says:

    Aunt Becky, Belle took Topomax for a little while and she would just randomly forget words. She would just stop talking mid sentence and say, “…ummm what is the word for those bugs that are red with black dots?”

    She didn’t really give the meds a chance because she was taking the LSAT and decided it wasn’t the best time to not remember her words. I hope it works miracles for you though.

  • Lucy says:

    If it’s important enough to remember, it’s important enough to have tatooed onto your left palm (if you’re right handed, or your right palm if you’re left handed).
    If you’re afraid of losing a child, tie a cow bell to its neck. That will keep them in range and also encourage them to work on their knot untying skills.

  • Krissa says:

    Oh Jeeze! It do suck, do it not? Speaking for myself, someone who was in an auto accident and had a brain injury, (with surgery, tons of drama, paralysis, vision loss, etc.) and, subsequently, a lot of short term memory loss that still isn’t 100%, 36 years later.
    Write everything down. Lists are your friend. Lists placed in prime places, fridge, counte rtop, makeup mirror, etc. are your BEST friends. One of my favorite tricks is to leave notes to myself, and others in the house, make grocery lists, etc. in pencil on the counter in the kitchen. I mean ON the counter. They are formica and that is the only thing I will ever miss when we get granite. Just a spray of kitchen cleaner and a wipe and it’s all gone. (The little love notes are especially nice!)
    Remember: You can do this. It’s only temporary!

  • Lucy Cooper says:

    I tried so hard to be cool and use the calendar on my phone. Nope. Not only do I have to have a planner, it has to be the big planner, and it has to have the month pages AND the week pages. It’s a fantastically ugly shade of orange. I write everything down- everything. If I have to remember something in the morning, which is the most stressful part of my day, I write it on a post-it and put it on my steering wheel, or over my speedometer.

    Also, never let a pile on your desk get any taller than your youngest child. And don’t be afraid to be a ruthless thrower-awayer.

  • Zannie says:

    Folders, folders, folders. I have dozens of folders in Google Reader, and even more for my email. I have my email set up so that incoming mail gets sorted into folders before I even read it. Ask the Daver for help setting that up if you’re not sure how. I use a thing called procmail which I’m sure he will be at least somewhat familiar with, but it’s only really useful if you regularly check email from multiple computers. If you only use one computer, your email client (Outlook, for instance) should have a way to do it that should be just fine.

    So, you can have all of your email related to this blog go into one folder, and all email for your other blog go into another folder, and one for FaceBook, and one for bills, and one for that friend who sends you 10 email forwards a day, etc. You can break it out enough that almost all email that actually lands in your inbox is–gasp–personal email. When you open up your email, you can see at a glance what *sort* of messages you have based on how many unread messages are in each folder. And when you’re trying to find that one email you meant to respond to, you can find it pretty quickly.

    I also mark messages as unread if I need to respond to them but haven’t yet.

    We also do the whiteboard thing… shopping lists, phone messages, things that need doing around the house.

  • Ed says:

    You need a girlfriend. Malaysian kids will do in a pinch, but they’re hardly as fun to make out with.

  • Stone Fox says:

    add to Stuff I Would Call you: awesome. and SKANK!

    ways to organize: don’t try to read everybody everyday. if you can visit everyone once or twice a week, i think that is fair; with 464+ feeds, i doubt anyone is going to shit on your head for not commenting on every single one of their posts. and if they do, take them off your reader. Make it a “No Assholes Allowed” feed reader.

  • Amber says:

    Organized?

    What’s that? ;)

  • Priss says:

    A good reason to use a PDA or cell phone as a planner – you can pick the most obnoxious tone you desire to alert you in public places so people will stare at you like you’re insane.

    For instance, my phone sounds like a Transformer changing into a robot every time I get an email. It seems to summon herds of grade school aged boys to my feet in wonder as to where I’m hiding an autobot upon my person…

  • Lola says:

    I’m pretty organized, nowhere near what I used to be at your age, but now that I’m off the pill, everything will go to shit. I probably won’t even remember that I have a blog, which may be a huge blessing ;)

    I hate writing things down, except the grocery list. Seems like admitting defeat to me. I have a day planner in my giant purse, and not one damn thing ever gets written in it. Other than the calendar hanging in the pantry, which basically consists of the boy’s social life and the day the dogs need their heartworm pill, I fly by the seat of my pants. Keeps life interesting.

  • Mwa says:

    You make me sit here and laugh EVERY DAY. For which, thank you.

    As for the reader, I just made folders earlier today, because mine wasn’t manageable either any more. I made one folder with “favourites”, and another called “occasional”, and then one for “possibly not working any more” (but I’m neurotic, so I’ll keep them on for a while).

    You could do days of the week, and just visit some people only once a week. Or just do a random selection and ditch the rest. ;-)

  • Belle says:

    Ahh I feel your frustration. I hope the side effects disappear completely for you! I was so frustrated that I never gave them the chance to.
    Physical paper day planners ARE AWESOME. My boyfriend and I have had many arguments about planners vs. google calendars or whatever. And I don’t care if he has the most logically sound argument ever, but writing in that day planner is among my top ten favorite things to do (that I can write in my day planner if I want to).
    I have NO advice as to how to handle THAT many feeds…. let me know if you get any good advice there!

  • honeywine says:

    Gurl, if you figure it out, tell me! I just keep trying not to sink and write down the crap that MUST be done on the calendar. The rest just has to slide or hope I remember it.

  • Kristine says:

    My current system is a poor man’s day planner – it’s a spiral notebook. I write everything down…EVERYTHING. If I don’t write it down, it doesn’t happen. And I’m not even on a memory lapse causing drug.

  • Tania says:

    Hi Aunt Becky.I’m a fellow migraine suffer. So I virtually feel your pain. Last spring I bougt a Blackberry. When I’m out and about I add everything to my Blackberry calendar. At home I enter everything into Outlook. On Sunday evenings I sync my phone(and my husbands) with our computer.

    I was totally disorganized before getting a bb. But with 2 jobs, 2 kids and college courses my life was crazy and things slipped through the cracks. I fought PDAs and could never remember a dayplanner. It’s also been great for my husband because he knows where the kids need to be and where I need help.

    Feel better and good luck with organizing.

  • Totally deranged says:

    Hey gorgeous, greetings to your side effects from my steroid side effetcs (asthma, bugger it!) The world runs towards chaos theory. Enough said. Go the way of the natural babe. I am a TOTAL anal retentive neat freak, and with my health going nuts all over the place, that compulsive drive is the biggest burden to live with. Be the best YOU that YOU can be and stuff the rest hon.

  • Erica says:

    OMG Dopamax dear dopamax…. the memory does get better. Mine comes back and then we increase my dosage again and I get the stupids all over.

    I enter everything into the calendar on my phone and Outlook on my laptop. I have my DH send me all of his stuff as appointments so I can keep it on both calendars. Then once a week I write everything on one of those big paper post-it calendar with a space for each person in the house.

    For my dailies I keep a running task list on my computer and in my phone.

    And my grocery list is also kept in my phone.

  • birdpress says:

    How about this?

    http://www.asseenontvguys.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=234

    Those people in that TV commercial would be lost without it. They all looked like they were on topamax. (And maybe something else.)

  • Alicia says:

    Dear Daver,

    Keep working on her on the electronic calendar. She might forget that she hates them.

    Heh.

    (chorus) I love you, Aunt Becky.

  • dubiousMa says:

    Dude….I don’t even remember what this post is about and it’s way too far to scroll up. Sorry.

  • Jess says:

    I love love love to buy organizers and planners. I religiously use them for about 3 weeks- complete with highlighting and color codes. I always think this will be the time I finally get organized! Sadly, it never happens. Would you be interested in purchasing some lightly used planners ranging from 2001 on?

    Does the I-phone have a “Post-It” app?

  • Pete in Az says:

    I plan on getting organized…

    …right after I attend the first annual meeting of the local chapter of the procrastinators club.

    I have the application here… somewhere.

  • Caron says:

    I have a saying at work about myself: If I didn’t write it down, it didn’t happen. I had a job once that was c.r.a.z.y. and I will spare you the details, but every task and call I made or that came in was written down in a spiral notebook. Once it was taken care of, completed, etc, I drew a line through it – one line, so it was still readable. If something needed further action, that action became another line.

    Everything was like this:
    Sept. 27, 2009
    1. Aunt Becky called and asked me to get her Depends.
    2. Buy Depends
    3. Deliver Depends to Aunt Becky

    Line one would have a line through it if I wasn’t so lazy. Because by then I would be OFF the phone with Aunt Becky.

    I always take you seriously, so be very careful what you ask for.

  • Caron says:

    Oh, I have another saying about myself and this one might be easier to accomplish (You will need husbandly approval), “I need a housewife.”

    Don’t we all?

  • GingerB says:

    Honey, I just had to get the blackberry, and I don’t love it but it does kinda work. I couldn’t deal anymore with written stuff and a phone so taking one thing out of the purse helped and it all goes in Outlook at work and then syncs to the phone and vice versa. It does help. because I put 2-3 appointments for my daughter in at different times every week, and I was completely sucking at life until I caved in and got one thing to master.

    Um, who are you again?

    I think I am going to get on an antidepressant and am totally concerned about the side effcts, because if I get any fatter or more confused I will make somebody pay, probably my husband, because it is all his fault.

  • Kristin says:

    I hate the computer/phone organizer doobie-whatsits, too. +1 for writing everything down. I love lists. I lose a lot of lists though. So just yesterday I got myself a cute notebook and now my main list stays hooked to something that’s harder to lose LOL My plan is to transfer any bits that I write on other paper to this Master Notebook List. We shall see. There’s just something so satisfying about crossing stuff off.

    and a huge +1 for Hilly Says:
    “I do what I can and when I can and the rest can suck it”

  • Cled says:

    This too shall pass. Or at least you’ll get better at, which amounts to almost the same thing.

    I am a very detail-oriented person. I had a brilliant memory, which made it easy.

    Then I got cancer and one of the chemotherapy agents (aka weapon of mass biodestruction) left me with impaired memory and some other stuff. It has improved, but will probably never be what it once was. Since I am still a detail-oriented person, this sucks.

    What I did.

    1. Say stuff out loud. (I just turned off the gas. Now I put the keys in my purse.)
    2. Write stuff down.
    3. Keep a daily calendar and put *everything* on it.

    Like you, I’m an ex-nurse. When the memory deficit was new and really bad, I charted on myself. Feels stupid, looks OCD-ish, really helps fill in the blanks when they happen.

    4. I believed other people who had been there and told me it would get better.

    5. I did (and do) crossword puzzles, suduko, play concentration, tetris, and all kinds of other games that maintain and even improve cognitive function. (There’s research on it. Check it out.)

    It did get better.

    it will for you, too. Hang in there, sugar.

  • I have to agree on the whole write it all down. My memory sucks. I have no idea why. I’ve had to write down almost everything for as long as I can remember. I do like using the calendar on my phone, simply because I can set the alarm to go off and remind me 2 hours, 30 minutes, and 5 minutes before appointments.

  • TheBeerLady
    Twitter: TheBeerLady
    says:

    Aunt Becky, I feel for you. Once upon a time, I had a phenomenal memory. When I was 7, my uncle nicknamed me “Funk & Wagnall” because he said he didn’t need an encyclopedia, he could just ask me. (You don’t want to know the mongoose story.) At a former job, I got random phone calls from co-workers who would ask me strange questions. (“Didn’t Z park the tank in some guy’s front yard once?” Why, yes. In Tom Smith’s yard, on 125th Street, 3 houses down from the elementary school, after his girlfriend said he beat her up – that was the same day as that big shooting, just before the last day of situationals for Joe’s training class..blah blah blah)

    Then, I had a hysterectomy. I have learned that apparently I suffer from a physical abnormality, in that my memory-making capability was retained in my uterus. Much like an Alzheimer’s patient, I can very clearly remember everything about Z and the tank, but I can’t remember why I got up and walked to the bathroom. I spent half an hour digging in a box looking for something, only to realize that I had no idea what I was looking for. I tossed out a pot of oatmeal the other day because I forgot I was making oatmeal and added shredded cheese and tabasco sauce. (Maybe I should have tried it, god knows anything would improve the taste of oatmeal.)

    I am trying to train myself to use a notebook to write down things. One notebook, that goes with me everywhere, and contains all things, because God knows if I have multiple places to look, I’ll forget which one to look at. Of course, I keep forgetting where I put the notebook. Or to write anything in it. Or to look in it when I need something.

    I think I’m saying I have no advice at all, but I’ve pretty much forgotten where I was going when I started this.

  • Jenn says:

    I need lists. I can’t breathe without them!
    I have a calendar in EVERY ROOM in the house. Well, except the bathroom. Though that is really something I should remedy.
    I email myself. Seriously, I do. If there is something reaaaally important I am sure to remember if I send an email and then “flag” it. (Because I obsessively check my email seventybazillion times a day.)
    Umm, I could go on but I’ll spare you the rest. :)

  • Bluebird says:

    So sorry for the nasty side effect. Oh, and I use way too many commas. So.

    I couldn’t live without my paper calendar. My husband and I have had the same argument. (No, my refusal to use an electronic calendar doesn’t mean that my my Palm is going to waste – I use it to check my email and read blogs, after all!) I write things I want to keep in mind or might happen in pencil, for-sure plans in pen. . . in super crazy months I even use different colored highlighters to keep sane! Oh, but I only use the month-by-month calendars. I like the big picture :) Then I just keep a running to-do list on a piece of paper stuck inside. Works for me, at least!

  • SciFi Dad says:

    I keep everything synchronized in my Outlook and my Palm. That’s for real world shit like life, meetings, and whether or not I have to be home at a specific time so my wife can take one kid to the doctor.

    As for my reader, I’ve got them organized by type and have been known to click “read all” in some categories I deem less important.

  • LeahKitten says:

    I am required to be organized because of the 12 million jobs I do. I have a *real* live calendar. The phone thing doesn’t work because if it’s electronic you can delete it (on purpose or accidentally) and, as someone mentioned above, it only tells you about events as they are happening.

    Barnes & Noble and Borders both carry lovely ones that fit in almost every purse so they are not too massive. When you write shit in pen you mean it. When you cross it out you can see it.

    I keep post it notes in there too so I can flag pages on the side. Or leave myself notes on the computer. Or stick notes to my debit card or my car keys or whatever I may need to remind myself of.

    I make to-do lists. I email myself at the end of the day so the list is the first thing I see when opening email the next morning.

    Have no fear, Aunt Becky, inevitably you’ll forget something. You’ll be organized some days and a hot mess others. Just roll with it baby.

  • Kerrie says:

    Interestingly enough I don’t have anything witty to say…However…The memory fog you are living through right now is temporary. The first three to four weeks you would not BELIEVE the crap I did….OH GOD the emails I sent from work without spell checking…If I hadn’t told my bosses about the new drug regimen I was on…Sure to have been fired. I’m MUCH better now…Wait, did I spell anything wrong? What’s my name again?

  • Catootes
    Twitter: Catootes
    says:

    Just so you know, and can be prepared, there are other nasties around the corner that will further fuck with your memeory banks.
    I don’t care what the fucking experts say, Menopause ate my brain. Totally took the pieces that controlled my short term memory and gulped it down. Regurgitated brain matter is so unappealing.

    I have to write shit down in notebooks, record events in my phone to go off hours before, keep a calender/organizer in my bag at all times.

    Getting old is for the shit.

  • Suzy Voices says:

    What? Where am I?

    No help here, only more of the same memory issues.

  • Mrs Soup says:

    Dear, that is what you have me for. Didn’t I bug you until you got your categories done in Google Reader? Now time to move onto your TweetDeck.

    Seriously though, categories for everything. And if you start when you start something new, it makes it SO much easier.

    Oh, and I would die without the calendar in my iPhone. That’s the whole reason I first got a smartphone 3 years ago, to use the calendar, because the one in my crappy phone only allowed like 10 characters. I have it set to remind me usually a day before.

  • Manda says:

    I say “fuck it” and I eat some ice cream.

    I have a tendency to call my OB’s office the week I think I have an appointment and ask them exactly when it is.

    I have little reminders pop up on my work computer to buy birthday/mothers day/fathers day/christmas cards for people which I still manage to bungle. So people tend to get cards from me the week AFTER the event.

  • Maniacal Mom
    Twitter: Maniacalmom
    says:

    Man! I wish I could use being medicated as an excuse! I just have a hard time keeping all my “busy-ness” organized and in my head! I used to have numbers memorized and pin codes memorized and friends addresses at the tip of my tongue…now….nothing…nada…zip!
    I have to accept that I will be the next alzheimer’s poster girl…and get on with forgetting.

  • habanerogal says:

    I have to start reminding myself about a year before any event to get it done. I forget that I set alarms for events in my cell phone and I turn the damn thing off. My only accomplishment is remembering my work schedule which is quite complicated so I do feel good about something. No I don’t work Mon-Fri 9-5 nice try. And if it’s late just say sorry we are Orthodox that always buys you some time.

  • mumma boo says:

    One dayplanner to keep track of everyone’s schedule, birthdays, etc. A large stack of post-it notes to write down everything else that doesn’t belong in the calendar. Couldn’t survive without my post-it notes. Really.

  • Heather says:

    I live out of my PDA. Without it I’m not sure I could remember to do anything. Now if I could just remember to look at it ever day so that it could remind me of the things I have to do… details… details… LOL

  • Driscoll says:

    Many thanks for giving out that remarkable information. One sure can learn a lot from it. Using Chandler “Running-To-Do-Lists” I am more organized in fulfilling my daily errands and all the tasks my job requires to be taken care of. Thus my day does not feel so stressful and packed. My job requires that I send many emails and I receive hundreds on a daily basis. And to stay organized with my emails I use Email Sorter Wizard, a MS Outlook add-in that helps me to stay organized with my inbox too. It is so easy to create the rules and the add-in is organizing all my emails the way I want. Interesting article and I am sure people enjoyed reading it.

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