January 25, 2014

Brain freeze

I am losing my mind. Actually, that tense is wrong. Some parts of my mind seem to already be gone.

Like anyone else, I hate making stupid mistakes. For some reason I can except that I will be wrong on many occasions, for I am only human, but I do not accept the equally human quality of simple mistakes. To be fair, I am closer to acceptance these days. Where I would berate myself aloud in the past, I now typically sigh and go back and fetch it, pick it up, put it back together.

This morning, I just couldn't seem to get out the door. I was meeting a buddy for a short bike ride, and just before leaving I realized I had forgotten my GPS watch (the ride doesn't count unless you track it). Back upstairs, grab it and go. As I sat in the driver's seat and went to put my key in the ignition, I realized that there was no bump in my back pocket where my wallet should be. Shoulders slump, back upstairs, unlock door, find jeans, resist smacking forehead, lock up and finally get on the road.

As we pulled out of the park, I looked down and realized my bike pump was not on the bike. For some reason, I just didn't want to turn around one more time, and kept pedaling. I have one of those CO2 inflators stashed in my bag, but they never seem to work very well, but I decided to risk it.

The ride was great, hilly but uneventful (no flats), and the fog burned off to reveal a beautiful day. It was just Mike and I this time around, and I don't know him as well, so we rode at the same pace and chatted the miles away. Back at the truck as I was loading my bike on the rack, I set my gloves on the bumper. As I did, I thought to myself, "Don't forget them". I had left a bike pump there a couple of months ago at the same park, and drove away, losing it somewhere on the road.

Of course I did the exact same thing with the gloves today. Not ten seconds had gone by from setting them down to load the bike, and the thought and reminder were gone. I didn't realize my mistake until hours later. Since I can't afford to replace them right now, and I have another early bike ride tomorrow, I drove back to the park just before sundown in hopes of finding them. I walked the roads, but didn't spot them. I walked into the park to see if a good Samaritan had set them somewhere as an impromptu lost and found. I found mismatched single gloves, one on a sign and another on a bench, but mine were nowhere to be found.

As I drove home, I reasoned that I could use the running gloves that my parents had bought me for Christmas. They wouldn't protect against the wind as well, but they were still relatively warm. I went to grab them this evening because I knew I would forget them if I left it until morning, but of course they were nowhere to be found either. I looked in every logical spot, and then in places that made less and less sense. Cushions were overturned, kitchen cabinets searched, desk drawers opened, all to no avail.

I knew I had them just a week ago for a chilly morning run. I actually checked my calendar to see what I had been doing last Saturday, and there it was. Some of us had gathered to plan out what biking events we wanted to do this year. The gloves were probably sitting at a friends house, in the grocery bag I had left/forgotten (rather large pattern developing). A quick text confirmed that they were there (along with my water bottle), at least confirming that my brain still works on some level, if only a week too late.

As I walked back to my car earlier this evening, scanning the road and grass one more time, I could feel the self-anger tickling at my brain, but it was overwhelmed with a shoulder-sagging feeling of exhausted defeat. A form of acceptance, I guess, but it didn't feel that much more healthy. To try to turn my mind and the night around, I stepped up onto a platform to look at the fading sun over the lake.

Overall, it had been a good day. Even before the bike ride, I had made it out for a three mile run along the Sammamish Slew. I had time in between to make myself a full, weekend kind of breakfast, and the sun and company in the afternoon had been refreshing. I'm out $50, my fingers will be cold tomorrow, and I still need to get to Seattle to pick up all the stuff I have left behind. I don't know what it will take to stop being so forgetful, or if this is just a taste of what is to come. Still, there are moments like this that make the stupid mistakes seem small and unimportant.

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