Not quite the plan

on finding my groove as a 30 something single girl and caregiver for mom with dementia


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Car keys.

So I wrote up my rather absurd efforts to find my moved by Mom keys the other day.  Finally last night, I had to admit defeat and call a locksmith to make me a new key to my car.  The other missing keys are more easily dealt with but my spare car key had gone missing some time before so I was stuck.

Two hours and 220 dollars later, I was functional again.

So this morning, I went in to Mom’s room to find her sitting on her bed with all the sheets and blankets stripped off.  In typical fashion, there were several piles of books, magazines, papers and odds and ends covering the bed. 

I looked more closely.  And saw my spare car key. 

Guess I can skip today’s planned trip to the hardware store to make a spare! 

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No where to be found.

So, I was literally standing outside my door today, already late to a work meeting, when I realized that I had no keys to lock the front door. Or of course drive my car into work.

I ran back into the house looking for them in the couple of the obvious places I sometimes put my keys other than my purse. Nope. And nope. I dug through my purse again. No keys. So, I started looking around. Twenty minutes later, having gone through my laundry basket (did I leave them in a pocket?), pulled every cushion off the couch, and combed through the obvious locations in Mom’s room, I still had no keys.

At that point, I was truly late to my meeting. I ran for the bus and made the second half. No worries, I thought, I will find the keys tonight.

Well, tonight has come and gone, and I am now clearer on just how many parts of my house need cleaning. I have checked in every nook and cranny — in every drawer in Mom’s room, the kitchen cabinets, into any container that appears larger enough to hold keys including Mom’s winter boots and the purse she has not carried in more than a year. I have discovered my bag of travel toiletries, which I did not realize was missing and my work security pass card, which I did know was missing and was pleased to find. What I have not discovered is my keys.

And to think that Mom was once the most organized person I knew.


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Our organized living room.

Our living room apparently is a prime spot in Mom’s need for organization. Mom always was a highly organized person and now feels an ongoing need to engage in organizing type activities.

So, when Mom gets her hands in it, mail is organized into boxes to be taped shut. Worn clothes are organized back into the drawers. Clean clothes are organized out of drawers and into neat piles on Mom’s bed.

The one that most fascinates me is the living room. It is the place that Mom most focuses her organizing energy. So many things are organized onto our coffee table: a childhood toy of mine, items from my toolbox, photos, jewelry. The living room seems to exert a strange magnetic pull over items from around the house. Sometimes bags of clean clothes drift down there out of the upstairs closets.

From my perspective, our living room feels like a place of chaos. And yet, it’s a strange ordered chaos in which items are grouped or lined up neatly. Pillows are straightened on couches. Mom seems to be able to achieve some level of micro order while the macro eludes her. I cannot help but wonder at what particular brain circuitry brings us this kind of organized chaos.