3 little words that have managed to evoke some anxiety and borderline fear when uttered by someone else, to me. At the beginning of my Hydro journey and first brain operation, I wouldn’t face the fact that I have a memory issue. This was probably because I convinced myself that I couldn’t possibly forget a small thing like blah.
Having drawn the short end of the stick on this one quite a few times, I learnt my lesson well.
My job entails having to do “stuff” for others, no matter how big or small. Things like managing assets, doing basic admin tasks for management, running reports, arranging and booking meetings/interviews, serving as the middle-person between our teams and the recruitment agency when we have vacancies, arranging hardware/phones for new starters, providing first-line IT support to our staff, installing new monitors, etc…the list goes on and on. Therefore, to say I juggle a few balls is probably an understatement. Because of this, my phone (as mentioned in my last post) is always in my hand. It’s quick and easy for me to make notes of anything people say or actions I need to take. As soon as I’ve done it, I delete the note and move on…it’s just one of my coping mechanisms and one I’ve gotten better at with time. Also, people tend to interrupt (I call it hijack) me mid-way especially as I walk from one end of the floor to the other (If you do IT support, you’ll probably relate OR you could be the person who pulls the IT guy/girl aside from time to time). An occupational hazard of the job I suppose ?
Keeping focussed on the task at hand or where I’m off to without getting interrupted is sometimes not that easy. Most people at work (or life in general) probably don’t realise that once I have something in my head which I need to do, it’s important that I do it before it gets swallowed up by the Bermuda Triangle inside my head. I’ll literally lose the train of thought with the biggest risk being that said task never gets done. I’m good at multitasking but it takes 100 times more effort than normal (pre-diagnosis).
Now, when someone tells me to remind them, I politely refuse and say “Please remind me because I will forget”. We usually end up laughing because of people, in general, who tend to forget especially with age. Having this approach, enables me to move the responsibility onto them and away from myself. Automatically, if I do per chance remember then great but if I don’t, I don’t need to feel bad about forgetting. Also, not everyone I deal with on a daily basis is aware that I have this condition much less had brain surgery and, they don’t need to either.
The last thing you need is the added pressure of having to do something which only you know, is a challenge of note.
I suppose the best thing about a juggler is not dropping a ball. I’m not perfect but I’ve managed to keep more balls in the air than I’ve dropped with much practice and patience on my part. (At least more than I did at the start of my Hydro journey). I have a saying at work which I gladly share with my colleagues as encouragement “If you can’t beat the circus, then join the clowns”. At the very least it makes them smile and for myself, it makes me feel less inadequate and lifts the invisible pressure I put on myself to be perfect at everything.