Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dithering and Doctoring

7/16/08 Chatterbox Betty Kaiser "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." Mark Twain Like all young people who are blessed with boundless energy, good health and enthusiasm, I never thought much about what life would hold for me as a “senior.” For the first sixty years of life, I agreed with Twain’s famous statement. I honestly believed that at any age, there was nothing that I couldn’t accomplish if I really set my mind to do it. Now that I am no longer young, I beg to differ. Age does matter. It creeps up on you and bam! You celebrate a Social Security birthday, turn a corner and run smack into a wall of limitations. “The mind is willing but the body is faint” goes another famous saying. Well, again I beg to differ. This summer I have sadly discovered that neither my mind nor my body is willing! I call this new phase of life “dithering and doctoring.” At our house one of us is either dithering or going to the doctor — my husband, the cats, the dogs or myself. Recently my daughter gently mentioned that her dad and I might be suffering from AAADD — or — Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. To clarify her suspicions, she sent me a copy of information that she had received regarding this newly discovered condition. I had never heard of AAADD and was shocked that it is a common problem. I was even more surprised to discover that someone had been spying on my daily routine. Otherwise, how would they know that my days go something like this: I get up, feed the dogs, eat breakfast and start to rinse off the dishes. About that time, the dogs decide they want to go for a walk. I put the dishes in the sink, open the door, leash up the dogs and we head out the gate. Passing the newspaper and mailbox I decide to collect the mail and we head back to the house. I suddenly notice that the vegetable garden and hanging plants are wilting. I turn on the hose. The flowing water reminds me that the car needs washing. That’s one of Chuck’s favorite jobs but I’d better pull the car out of the garage to remind him. That entails finding the keys. I bring the mail and newspaper inside, locate my car keys, move the car and sort the mail. I make two piles: bills and junk mail. I discard the junk mail and notice that the trash can is full. I’d better empty the trash can and then pay the bills before I forget. In the meantime, the water is overflowing in the flower baskets and the car is baking in the sun. Now I can’t find the keys to move the car back inside so I embark on another search for them. Of course, they’re right where I left them, under the bills! I decide to make some ice tea for lunch right after I finish paying the bills. Naturally, the checkbook is not on the desk. While searching for it, the phone rings. I go to answer it but it’s not on its cradle. Where, oh, where did I put it? It must be upstairs. The phone is not to be found in any of its usual places and the call goes to voice mail. Oh, well, I’ll get that later. Right now, I need to dump the dead roses and water the sweet pea arrangements because they’re dry as a bone. Honestly, they sure suck up water. Oops! Speaking of water, the garden hose is still on. Those veggies are soaked. Well, by now, it’s lunchtime and I have to get ready for a doctor’s appointment. I set some meat out to thaw for dinner and make a mental note to take a bank deposit to cover the bills. Oh, yes, I’d also better stop by the grocery store for potatoes. Then I head into town. At the doctor’s office, I’m advised that I need to go to the lab for some tests, make a series of physical therapy appointments and pick up a prescription. All of that takes longer than expected and I wearily drive home, completely forgetting to put money in the bank and pick up potatoes at the market. The rundown at the end of the day isn’t pretty: The dinner dishes have now joined the breakfast dishes in the sink. The dogs haven’t been walked. The trash hasn’t been emptied. The flower baskets are either drenched or dry. The car is still dirty (Chuck was doing his own dithering). The ice tea hasn’t been made. The checkbook and telephone are still missing. There’s no money in the bank. We didn’t have potatoes for dinner. With a record like that, no wonder my daughter thinks I suffer from AAADD. Sheesh. But she’ll understand once she’s my age. And contrary to the esteemed Mr. Twain’s opinion, most of us do mind the limitations of age so it does matter. Fortunately, tomorrow is another day to dither away! Betty Kaiser’s Chatterbox is about people, places, family, and other matters of the heart. Read her weekly columns in the Cottage Grove Sentinel.

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