Oh, for the days when, as a busy high school teacher, I could prepare and run five or six classes a day, answering myriad questions by students, remembering all their names and where they were up to with their due assignments then attend staff meetings after school and plan, shop for and hold a dinner party for six friends that evening.
‘Back in the day’, I could ‘rush’ to finish things, lift and carry items without pain, get into my car in one easy move. I could clean the house ready for a dinner party in what seems now like ‘a single bound’. The thought of having a dinner party now fills me with dread!
These days, about the best I can do is have washing ‘on the go’ in the washing machine, dishes soaking in the kitchen sink to make them easier to wash, while I simultaneously make a telephone call. Even that makes me feel exhausted and ready for a nanny-nap!
I haven’t submitted a story since August’s ‘Right Here, Right Now’, topic. My excuse? My growing inability to multi-task. A fascinating writing related project has been absorbing me for the past three months and I’ve been finding it more difficult than I did even a year ago to change my focus to other writing projects, to work on more than one writing project simultaneously.
A range of factors, alongside normal ageing, may be influencing this. Is it a sign of early dementia? Is a lack of oxygen to the brain caused by chronic asthma and pulmonary disease making thinking and problem solving more difficult? Or, have I quietly had the odd ‘transient ischemic attack’ and slight brain injury as a result?
I’m working through grief stages at this loss of capacity to multi-task. The stages of bewilderment and anger have passed. I’m grudgingly accepting the grim reality that I will never be able to so effortlessly multi-task again. I need to pace myself and prioritise differently!
On the bright side…, I made it here today after writing this story following a morning Zoom meeting.
I must admit, though… the washing is still in the washing machine, the dishes are still soaking in the sink, I’m feeling exhausted and ready for a nanny nap!
Bev Lee, November 2020