‘Just call me a homing pigeon,’ said the old man smugly as he traversed the narrow streets of our neighbourhood, Italian Job-style, to avoid the traffic on the main arterial road to the city.
I’ve never had and homing skills, a fact that was proven only a few days before when I got a bus to meet NC and ended up twenty kilometres further north. I had to call her anxiously to tell her I was lost.
‘I thought you told me that all the buses go to the city,’ I said accusingly as I dug around my handbag for my glasses to check Google maps – only to realise that I’d left them at home with my brain.
‘Where are you?’ she asked me, sounding like my mother.
‘Fuck knows,’ I answered in a bleak voice, praying this was just another one of ‘those days’ and not the early signs of dementia.
I’ve never had a great sense of direction. I blame it on the timetable clash at school between Geography and Art, but I still like to think that my current issue is more linked to a distraction problem than short term memory loss.
I find it more and more difficult to concentrate these days, particularly when I’m not interested in what I’m supposed to be concentrated on. I zone out, I drop out of conversations, (or more rudely, I attempt to veer them in the direction I want them to go). Even watching Netflix, I struggle to maintain focus on complicated plots and and I catch my mind wandering to tomorrow’s dinner or my plans for the next day.
I can concentrate on my writing, on reading books and articles on social media – the pastimes I enjoy – but the rest of the time it feels like I’m running around in a permanent fug.
Can I blame menopause? Apparently so. You see, it has been universally acknowledged that hormone fuckery and lack of sleep contribute to poor concentration in both peri-menopause and menopause itself, which means – I hope – that I’m not in the early stages of Alzheimer’s after all.
Perhaps, it’s simply that I struggle to relax. Like most women, I made a career out of multi-tasking, but in recent years my life has become less hectic and my body is still acclimatising to that change. It isn’t used to being able to sit still for periods of time.
‘Breathe, Mum,’ NC advised before she hung up. I think it’s time to take her advice.