I used to have a good memory; I'm pretty sure I did - I could juggle all kinds of work, kids and admin stuff and still pick up a few bonus points remembering more left field things, like my husband's God childrens' birthdays.
But lately it's all been slipping: I've missed appointments, birthdays, play dates; the printer's had no ink in it for weeks and I can't for the life of me remember where I put the Sealife tickets I bought with my Tesco vouchers.
It's that, walking into a room and forgetting what you came in for scenario. I'm so easily distracted these days - a new thought pops into my head and the minute it does, an older one just pops right out the other side. It would appear I've run out of head room.
The problem is I have no back up plan - no handy, organised list system - just several tatty, scribbled pieces of paper that roam around the kitchen until they're lost under a pile of Christmas catalogues. And of course a Tintin wall calendar.
Quite clearly not good enough anymore. Time really to find a better way, and whether I like it or not, some kind of electronic help is probably the answer. Well, that's what people keep telling me.
Anyway, all this got me thinking about what's so different now than before, when I could actually remember stuff. And there are some glaringly obvious things:
1. I've stopped pretending that spending hours in the car doing the school run 5 days a week has no real impact on my life. I'm not going to moan, it was our choice to move the kids, but as the term goes on, it does grind me down. Most of the route is along narrow, windy country roads - quite beautiful in the spring/summer, but the other night the fog was so thick I couldn't see the sides of the road. And I hate admitting this, but I'm becoming an anxious driver - never used to be - now I see danger around every corner. Usually in the form of some monster-sized tractor clattering towards me at full tilt. Anyway, I do try to make good use of my time in the car/hanging about in school car parks, but it still takes a huge chunk out of the day.
2. Because of all of that, I get up at 6am. Always an early start - yet I just don't seem to be able to make myself go to bed before 11.30pm. I know it's mad, but I'd nearly rather be knackered than lose those precious hours of quiet; click-clacking away with my knitting, watching rubbish tv. The kids aren't upstairs till about nine now - I have friends who would be in bed half an hour later, but the thought of doing that makes me want to weep.
A while ago I watched a programme about sleep disorders, and as well as all the usual ones you'd think of, there was this mum who wouldn't go to bed - at about 11pm she'd be pulling out all kinds of craft stuff, or doing some baking. Don't think I'll ever get to the stage when I'm baking fairy cakes at 2am in the morning, but it did make me wonder.
3. I have a new job - it's only temporary but pretty intense, and appears to have pushed most other stuff out of my head.
4. Who said kids get easier as they get older? I'm sure somebody did, but that's definitely not what I'm finding. 'Challenging' would be a good word, and as I'm the only one here with them during the week, it's pretty blinking challenging… More strops, more shouting, more mess, more arguments, more flipping homework. More social stuff too, like parties and clubs - so even more time in the car! We live in the country. Nothing is close.
5. I've signed up for a few Craft Fairs, but haven't really given myself time to make any more stock. So I'm now in a weird position of not wanting to sell too much stuff... which is sort of missing the point.
I need a 'get organised' App; I need to be kinder to myself - nothing new there, for any of us I'd imagine. But I've had a few moments recently that have made me want to do something about it.
The other morning my daughter stomped down the stairs in a right old mood,
'Why has the Tooth Fairy left me 50c Mummy, instead of normal money?'
A moment of panic: How had I managed to miss that? Okay it was late, but I'd never normally miss something like that. I hadn't even thought to check.
I fobbed her off with some story about the Tooth Fairy getting confused...
Don't think she bought it.
On the bright side, at least the Tooth Fairy remembered to come at all! Though there have been times when she hasn't…
She can get a bit distracted too.