Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Old Dog New Tricks. New Dog Old Tricks.

Most of my life I have had the convenience of being able to think on my feet. I have been able to race around without missing a beat. I was chief at multi-tasking. In fact I was doing this way before that term came into popular use. I use to pride myself on being able to get up in the morning and out the door in minutes. Showered, dressed, properly coiffured, and items needed for the day in hand.
After becoming a mom, I was pleased that I could do close to the same with two little boys.
In walks MS.
Boy has life changed. Please understand. I am doing fine. My brain is just under new management, so to speak. I could no more hurry out the door than fly to the moon. In fact. Flying to the moon really does sound easier to me. They have that down to a science. I'm still struggling with the list making.
In fact the moon launches have sort of become a guide line. They don't make it very far with out check lists. Keeping all the ducks in a row. Finishing one  task at a time so they can move on to the next. Building a foundation of proper planning.
And that's the old/new trick I am trying to learn. Making lists. I am learning that to keep me on track, on task, I need to have a check list. Actually several different lists.
I keep a running grocery list, a household activity list, a G list (this one has been on going for 18 years. It's things my son needs throughout the day) and a obligation calendar. If a thought doesn't make it to a list, it doesn't make it to conclusion.
So I'm trying to learn this and also how to use the lists for my benefit.
The Grocery List.
I keep this list on the refrigerator. It's not only a list of things I have run out of, it's a running low list too. The second I think of an item I put it on the list. Hopefully this action doesn't derail the thing I was doing when I remember I needed the item.
I try not to run out of the items we use most. I keep a household par. One in use. One in back up. That way we are stocked to the par and hopefully don't run out when we have a situation. This is also beneficail when I'm in the grocery store.
When shopping I have made it a recent habit of entering the store and going to the right. Then following the rows to the stores conclusion before checking out. I watch my list and only buy the items on it. If I am looking for one of the items and it escapes me. I let it go. I have decided not to stand in one spot looking for an item. If it isn't easily acquired it can wait until next time. The par gives me this luxury. If I am bingo for that item then I ask some one to help. Usually this is my son and it delights him to be my champion. As the shopping progresses I tear a notch in the list next to each item I've placed in the cart. The visual aid is very helpful.
We check out and get things loaded in the car. I keep a cooler in the car for the stuff that needs to be kept cold. We always try to double up on errands so if the grocerys stay in the car during the other obligations a cooler is essencial. Especial during the warmer months. However, coolers also will help insulate items against freezing temperatures too. This habit allows us to stay in town hours longer if needed.
When we do make it home we set up a relay systom. G goes and unlocks the door and then meets me half way. I take the first bags out of the car and hand them to him. Before he takes them from me I say "Comanche",  "Chinook" or even  "Sky Crane". That let's him know how heavy each is so he can set himself. He receives them  and then flys them to the kitchen. I go back to the car to get more bags and he returns half way to receive them. We keep this up until all is in.
In the kitchen I try to put the items in the same location as the par. Some times this works out. Some times it doesn't. We live in a small home and cupboard space comes at a premium.
Which lead me to my next challenge. Setting the house in order. This will take some time. I'm a pack rat. We
have lived in the same place for 35 years. You get the picture. So over the next few months I will be trying to get that job accomplished. Hopefully I will be able to work up a procedure for that.
I realise that all this may seem remedial to some. The fact is these are old tricks. And that is fine. They are pretty new tricks for me. I've been a take it as it comes sort of gal. But now, if it doesn't get written down and set in action, it simply slips away. Some things can do that and not have bad consequences. Other things can't. Those are the things I'm concerned with. The things within my realm of control. The rest I choose to lay at the feet of my Lord. He's my Champion too.

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