Revisiting Doorways

My fantasy life in Tuscany has more realistic-looking shadows.

Words written in novel so far: 9,364

Days ago kitchen floor needed to be mopped: 6

Miles run last week: 24

I have not yet adopted seven cats or started inventing reasons to drink at two in the afternoon.

This is some comfort, given the fact that I keep forgetting why I walked into a room.

You see, I grew up as the Organized One in my family. Not the Smart One or the Pretty One, as is customary in a family with two daughters. It probably started with the Christmas party I planned without my mother’s knowledge, at the age of five, as I blogged about for Mother’s Day.

I did spend part of my middle school years in medieval England and some of my twenties either imagining life at the beach or time traveling with the Outlander, but work got done.

The Organization Fairy stayed with me through my jobs as a public relations person, organizing events and newsletters and such.

I blame the children.

Before I had a cell phone, when my daughter was about five months old, I was thirty minutes away, in the same town where my sister worked, and we were going to have lunch. I got ready to call her from Barnes & Noble, and I realized I could not remember her number. Not like, hmmm. Now how does that number start again? Oh, yeah. Five-one-five… No. Complete block.

I hadn’t slept in about five and a half months, which might have been part of the problem.

At some point, I remembered my sister’s phone number, and when I visited her, I saw the neat files that were part of her Ph.D. studies. My mind whirled. I would be lucky if I remembered to pick up milk on the way home.

Once I recovered from sleeplessness and my daughter went to preschool, I started writing again. To be honest, that was probably the shift.

Going from business-oriented work to loosey-goosey motherhood to writing created some sort of mind-body shift.

I now must employ devices to keep myself on task. At the urging of my BFF, I have bought Clean Shower because until I remember to clean the shower, it will hold off the mold.

When I see a rogue tea cup sitting on the bathroom counter or a dirty sock in the middle of the den floor, I tend to walk past it and think, “Note to self: pick up rogue tea cup and take it downstairs.” I am more than a little annoyed at myself later that evening to find that same cup in the same place.

Being right in the middle of the creation path of my second novel, the characters are doing things in my head. They demand attention, and the mommy duties and cleaning duties and chauffeuring duties are done to some extent on auto-pilot.

Unfortunately, the flotsam and jetsam of daily life end up taking a backseat. Or in some cases, being strapped to the roof of the car (ha!) until I can make a note to do something about them.

If you are ever standing outside my house and wondering why someone keeps walking into a room and then out of a room; in, and then out, please know that the best way to recover a thought is to return to the space of air where you last left it.

You have to revisit doorways.

What was I supposed to do in the master bath again? Oh, that darn cup. Seriously. It’s in the dishwasher now. But the kitchen floor? Small children are still stuck to it. Note to self: I need to go rescue them.

Shoot. What was I supposed to do again?

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15 thoughts on “Revisiting Doorways

  1. Bernie Brown says:

    I like the doorway theory. I enjoyed reading through your blogs from when I was in London. I liked the one about Daryl. I also did a quick read through of your new novel project. Great idea! If I get organized enough (maybe you can help me with that:), I’ll put down some thoughts about it and send them back to you. Meanwhile, still plan to see you Friday night, right?

  2. crubin says:

    I can so relate. And I agree–the doorway idea is good. I’ll often walk into a room, hoping to reclaim the lost thought, which I know was something really important. I have about a 50% success rate. Oh well, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose…

  3. robincoyle says:

    So I’m not the only one? What a relief.

  4. Melissa says:

    I maintain that I had one fully operational brain before I had children. I have two children. They each needed something to start “building” with so while they were “in utero” I gave them each a quarter of my brain to start life with….now you know why I only have “half a brain.” That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    • annewoodman says:

      Yes, I think they have a lot to do with it. I feel bad for people much older than I am who suffer the exact same problem… because I’m pretty sure it’s not aging that’s doing it… but they always get worried. I’m afraid it’s just me. Like this. Forever.

  5. jmmcdowell says:

    Whew. This is probably the real reason everyone should blog—we find out we’re NOT the only ones who do certain things. I put it down to my “creative” brain taking more control the last few years. But, yes, losing thoughts and wondering, “What was I just going to do?” gets frustrating sometimes. Alas, my success rate when retracing my steps is not encouraging.

    • annewoodman says:

      Is it because the doorways you’re trying are buried under the ground? ; ) Mine are definitely 21st century ones, but still don’t have a 100 percent accuracy rate.

  6. David Gentry says:

    Welcome to my world! And I was that way before you were born, so I can’t blame you.
    Love,
    Mom

  7. LOL! As I get older I find myself doing that very thing. What scares me is my wife says that I am a font of useless information and should go on a game show or something. The problem is, what do I do when I can no longer rememeber all that information? Will I cease to exist? 🙂

    • annewoodman says:

      I find I remember plenty of trivia… but if I don’t write down my daughter’s play on the calendar, it might not get stuck in my brain. Very sad indeed. If you go on a game show, let me know, and I’ll call out prompts to you from my living room. ; )

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