Where is it?! I Can’t Find My…..

I do my very best to keep my ‘stuff’ where I will find it when I need it. What does this mean? It means a few years ago, I had a ‘moment’, an epiphany if you will. A light bulb went off in my brain. I realised that if I did not become an organized and tidy person, I would lose my mind. At the very least, I would continue to be an  extremely frustrated and unhappy woman. I was tired of wasting half my life looking for a set of keys or my red sweater.  I had lost a great deal of vision, and could no longer find things easily.  I had cultivated a life-long bad habit of not caring where anything was placed.   In my attempt to maintain an artsy-fartsy image as a free spirit, disorganization ruled my life.   I think that I went out of my way to NOT care about having my things in any semblance of order.  I liked the persona of the harried hack with a desk piled high with papers and a kitchen counter filled with dishes (mostly dirty).  I wore forgetfulness like a badge of honour.  Somehow it seem to fit then.  Not so much any more. If you can’t see,  this type of lifestyle will wear you down.  The key ring or t-shirt that I set down willy nilly one minute suddenly began to  ‘disappear’ the next.  When I needed that key ring or t-shirt again,  I  often found myself spending hours searching, tossing things around in anger and frustration.  When the big ‘ah ha’ moment happened,  I set about to introduce order and neatness into my life.  What ensued was a month-long marathon of methodical inspecting, evaluating, and sorting out of every item in my possession.  I tossed out my useless trash, gave away and donated unwanted items and found a specific place to put every thing I owned.  Baskets, hooks, bins and boxes became my friends.  I insisted that all visitors to my apartment respect my need for order by NOT MOVING MY STUFF!  For my part, I vowed never again to set an item down that was not in its assigned place. Occasionally my ‘system’ failed and I could be heard  shouting in exasperation, “Where is it?! I can’t find my…” (insert missing object du jour).  Still today I sometimes misplace something. All it takes is a momentary distraction for me to set something down and… it’s gone. Opal knows to stay out of my way when I’m upset and ‘looking’ for my stuff. I don’t expect her to find it even if she knows what I’m looking for. It’s not ‘in her job description’.  She has enough to do by ensuring that I don’t fall off a curb or get hit by a car.  My wise advice for anyone with vision loss is to get organized. Your friends may start accusing you of being obsessive or having compulsive tendencies.  Ignore them. Do what you need to do to save yourself the frustration that arises out of chaos.  For a blind person, it’s really about survival.

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