Photo By Jim Davison
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By Susan Govern

There’s a saying I came across a while ago that I can relate to. I don’t know who originally said it, but there are days when it really fits my life. It is – “Some days I amaze myself, other days I put my keys in my fridge.”

Most days I have my life pretty much together. I’ve always considered myself to be an organized person. I know I was especially when I was young, even during my teen years I kept my closet and dresser organized – changing out old for new or by the seasons.

At any job I had, I was known for keeping my work area neat and I knew how to stay on top of my job by posting notes and lists of things to do and how to do them.

Then I became a mom – twice.

Keeping up with young children made for many challenges; mostly mental. Lack of sleep with a baby in the house meant more than once I put the milk in the pantry and the box of cereal in the fridge. Finding my car keys usually wasn’t an issue because of our hooks by the garage door. However, finding the baby’s pacifier was another story. How it ever ended up on top of the television sometimes (the older non-flat screen t.v. we had back then) was a mystery. But the fact that the pacifier was there and the baby was playing with the t.v. remote might be a clue. Someone (probably me) had hit a mental pot hole in the road of life.

My two children are grown, but the mental pot holes still pop up from time to time.

One in particular that still happens is putting clothes in the washer, and after they are clean realizing only the next day that I forgot to put them in the dryer.

Running up against a mental pot hole can be funny (after the fact), but many times it’s just plain embarrassing.

I’ve found myself thinking I have to make an eye exam appointment, it’s very important and I should make one for sometime soon. I call to schedule one and just as the receptionist answers I hang up on her. You probably guessed it – I called the dentist office by mistake.

Score one for another mental pot hole.

Then there’s the wonderful little pot hole I refer to as the “I’m going to pretend to know who you are because your face looks familiar but I have no freaking idea what your name is”. This happened more times than I care to admit when my kids were in school and I was a room mom. Meet another parent at school and it was instant recollection, but meet that parent at the grocery store and I could easily have played the part of an amnesia victim. Actually, my acting was good enough that I usually got away without having to call the other parent by name in those situations.

My latest mental pot hole was probably committed in front of the most witnesses ever. With the pews packed and our new Bishop for the Catholic Diocese presiding over a special mass, I had to make a simple presentation and say just a few words.

As a member of the 50th Anniversary Committee for our parish, it fell to me to give the Bishop a gift of commemorative items marking our Golden Anniversary. Simple task, easy-peasy, but in front of everyone I said I was honored to present him with items from our 50th “Wedding” Anniversary of our parish. It was one of those moments when you hear the words come out of your mouth, and your brain in the next instant silently imitates a G.P.S. – “Recalculating, Recalculating – reverse course and try again”. I am happy to say our Bishop was most gracious as I stammered a correction. As I made my way back to my seat, I knew I had hit another mental pot hole and this one I wouldn’t forget for a while.

Oh well, life is full of ups and outs, ins and downs and we just have to keep putting up with an occasional oops.

Wait – what…what did I just write…I meant ups and…oh forget it…where did I put my keys? I’m going to Starbuck Donuts for a coffee. Now where are those keys???