Did I switch the light off?

Light in the gathering gloom

Did I switch it off?

Did I switch off the light? Turn off the TV ? Turn off the tap?
I know I have a problem when I keep going back to a room to make these checks. Yes, I go back feeling pretty sure I did the right actions. It isn’t just the cost and waste of fuel and water, but just as important are the safety issues. Am I going bonkers is what I ask myself, or have I a hidden anxiety that manifests itself in repetitive actions? Fears of senility?
Well, I don’t think I have dementia. I know the questions asked of dementia patients and I can answer them all. Apart from which, having lived with dementia (my mother suffered from the worst kind and her life was a living hell) I know the signs.
Is it stress? I have to admit, I have been working on the computer doing actions that require more knowledge than I possess. Not having been brought up with computers I don’t understand the language and I tend to work trial and error style. I get shown how to do things but I soon forget again. I have to go over and over to make things sink in.
I recall doing psychology during teacher training and one model was that we build on an already acquired concept. Growth comes with building on that solid foundation. Trouble is, as far as new technology is concerned foundations can change. Even some of the web sites change and grow and I can’t keep up. Or different sites have slightly (or totally) different ways of doing things. AND they will use pale text, sometimes quite small too, for important actions. I get tied in knots.
Governments want everybody to be on the Internet. Impossible. Not just because it does not adequately reach some areas, but many older people do not have the skills and computers are no-go areas. Maybe they do show ancients grinning because of their achievements at getting on line but they are a mere few. Fears of losing money is enough not to get an on-line bank account. Deafness (and foreign and regional accents) are enough to make oldies shudder and cling to their local bank, even if they have to travel to get there. The hole in the wall for doing business may be simple to most, but to some elderly it could well be a hole to lose money in.
So the computer has become important in my life for I am the one in our long partnership to use it. Not just for business and information, but for my writing and books. It has opened up the world to me. And found me new friendships at a time when friends have become thin on the ground. But I admit to getting frustrated and feel like putting the mobile toilet roll holder (it is heavy metal) through the screen. I yell with frustration as my son comes into the house HEEEEEEEEEEEEELP! Poor lad!

So that’s one thing that could be making me anxious. I guess there are a number of things though that I can do nothing about. Things I would so much like to help with, but have not the money, the talents, the time or the health to oblige.
It is then I start to look back on my life and wonder if I should have done things differently. Have I wasted my talents? Taken a wrong turning? (That is a constant thought over certain matters that were costly at the time and just as much so in retirement.) But looking back is useless. As the sands run speedily through the hourglass, I am keen to make the most of the present, while being aware of what I leave behind. No, I have no desire to go off on cruises or fly to foreign lands. Maybe I just want to be successful in my own efforts, not be a burden on others and to have the satisfaction of a job well done.
Now then, did I turn that tap off?

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4 Responses to “Did I switch the light off?”

  1. Geoff Dellow Says:

    I like to turn this kind of worry on its head.

    Now what are the benefits of going round checking?

    Think of that extra exercise as a leisurely pace. Keeps you better exercised.

    Now what are the other benefits?

    Well it provided the basis fore an intersting little story to tell.

    Would life be excruciatingly boring if everything went sooooothly.

    Next, you can reassure yourself that at least you remember to check whether you had forgotten.

    Come on now there must be some other behefits?

    I’m hard pushed.

    You could make it into a game.

    If you think that you relly shouldn’t go round checking then you will allow yourself to go and check just one more time. but this time you have to walk round backwards. Or you could try walking and checking with your eyese closed all the time. This has the advantage that when you go completely blind , you know that you will be able to go round and check that the house is safe.

    Something to look forward to.

    You’re acquiring a new skill. – Coping with being blind. Great.

    That idea was a bit far fetched so what else?

    How about . . .

    Giving yourself a score of 1 to 10 for every etem that you are going to check.

    10 if your sure that you remembered 1 if you’re damn sure you forgot.

    Now if your predictions were right you treat yourself your favourite chocolate.

    If in fact you had remembered when you thought you forgot you have to drink a large glass of water.

    When you start getting scores of 10 every time , you know that you can rely on yourself completely and no need to buy all those favourite chocolates.

    This one needs a bit of refinement but has promise, don’t you think.

    How about . . . going to bed and taking the consequences.

    If the house starts to burn down then it will be a bit of exitement and you might meet an attractive fireman in your nighty – I understand that you’re into this kind of thing – in fiction!

    Well I’m off to bed and damn the checking. I’ve survived in the past – even with the front door left wide open all night and not even a slug intruded – what a disappointment.

  2. Gladys Hobson Says:

    Well I guess I asked for a ‘tongue in cheek’ reply! You can forget ‘the fireman and nightie’ excitement — in my mind I can just see the would-be rescued wrinkly damsel going up in flames!
    As it so happens, I have hardly done any checking since writing the post. Likely I would not have done any checking were it not for these modern taps that you just push instead of turn.
    Also, certain issues are reaching conclusions, plus an Australian Internet friend is helping me get my blogger ‘Lake District – Checkmate’ site into splendid order (another week or so and ‘out with the old’ and in with the new site to advertise my book).
    Certain other matters, of far more importance, look like being resolved too.
    Actually, I do tend to move around in the dark so as not to wake others.
    So altogether, I have no need for a rewards and punishments routine. I just leave that psychology for controlling my weight!
    But thank you for your considered reply.

  3. Payton L. Inkletter Says:

    This post and the comment by Geoff and the counter comment by Gladys have done me the world of good, tickled my funny bone.

    “I do tend to move around in the dark”: Gladys, great minds think alike, or fools seldom differ, because as you know I do a lot of moving around in the dark.

  4. Gladys Hobson Says:

    Ah yes, Payton, desirer of having his funny bone tickled. But you move around for hours in the wee small hours of the morning. (In case Geoff comes back to read this, I will state that I am NOT referring to any medical problem that young Payton may, or may not, suffer from — none of my business). And you do it outside among the bamboo plantation and within the realm of the koala. Are there blood sucking bats flying around? Do you turn into one — a koala with bat wings and fangs? No that would be too confusing. But then in your Fools Paradise – Infinity on a Shoestring (more like a tightrope) — anything is possible.
    No, I would NOT go out when it is dark. I can’t see to cross the road, or stay on the pavement for that matter, without good lighting. And I get disorientated. Leaving someone’s house about 200 yards away when it was late. I had no idea where I was or where to turn, until a car came down the lane heading straight at me. Then it was a case of feeling along the wall until I came to patchy street lighting. Thankfully the security lights flooded our drive once I got that far. I’ll need a darn good torch if the few street lights we have are to be switched off to save cash!
    But yes, we are both daft — I’ll give you that.

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