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My View: Life’s little losses are no big deal

By Cathy Tallady

It’s the new year and, like many people, I sat down last month to take stock. What happened in 2016? What did I gain? What did I lose?

I gained a new friend. Good. I gained a little weight. (For me, good, because I’m too thin.) I gained another birthday. Very good! No explanation needed.

What did I lose? Like most people my age, I lost a little vision. And I lost a little hearing because I have to turn up the volume on the TV.

And I got to thinking about losses – those gone and those going – otherwise known for me as just “losing it.”

So, I know I’m losing it when I can’t even get the punch line in a simple comic strip. I have the same problem when I’m watching TV and everyone is laughing but me.

I know I’m losing it when I knock the same pencil off the end table by my chair onto the floor,  day after day. Yet I replace it each time, so it can repeat its descent. (Isn’t that the very definition of insanity?)

I know I’m losing it when I see people I know, and they know me, but I can’t remember their name. I’m acting weird, and I know it, and they’ll probably never speak to me again.

I know I’m losing it when I lose three hubcaps in three months. One while trying to get close enough to the drive-through window at the bank, one on the rocky side of a friend’s driveway and one while nudging the drop box outside the post office – a receptacle aptly named.

I know I’m losing it when I can’t remember how to spell tricky words like vacuum, diarrhea and pneumonia. (Did you know that pneumonia contains all five vowels?)

I know I’m losing it when I put something in a special place where I’m sure I’ll remember it, and then I don’t.

I know I’m losing it when I know that salty snacks aren’t good for me, but I eat handfuls of them anyway.

I know I’m losing it when I can’t remember if I took my medicine even if I’m standing in front of the medicine cabinet. I have to check if my drinking glass is wet. (And when did we go from the word medicine to medication? Shouldn’t it be called a medication cabinet?)

I know I’m losing it when I’m typing on the computer and suddenly up pops an ominous notice that I’ve made a terrible error. I don’t know how or what I did, but I feel extremely guilty. And I can’t fix it.

I know I’m losing it when I can’t subtract nine from 17 without using my fingers.

I know I’m losing it when I can’t follow the plot of an hourlong mystery on TV, even if the actors don’t have an English accent, or when I lose track of which character is who in a novel and I have to turn back the pages to get reacquainted.

I know I’m losing it when I call for assistance for a problem to some faraway company, and I can’t push the numbers fast enough and I have to return to the main menu or wait to be rescued by a real live person who has an accent I can’t understand.

I know I’m losing it when I can’t find my walk-around phone and I walk around and around looking for it and cursing the meaning of its very name.

I know I’m losing it when I peer into the recesses of my refrigerator and discover something green that I don’t recognize at all, and it’s apparently taken on a life of its own.

And finally, I know I’m truly losing it when I haven’t laughed out loud at least once during a whole day.

Cathy Tallady, who has lived in Lewiston for more than 55 years, ponders what she has lost and gained.
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