Monday, May 30, 2016

Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana
 My father was an automobile mechanic, so I grew up hearing a lot about transmissions and master cylinders and differentials, brakes, valves, heads, gaskets, and the like. The smells that bring back some of the fondest memories of childhood for me are not necessarily freshly baked bread from the oven or cookies or something wonderful cooking on the stove (although of course I love these smells as well).

No, what I remember with the most fondness are the smells my father brought in the house with him at the end of the day—lube grease, solvent that he cleaned parts with—the smells of a working garage where cars are fixed. Even today if I happen to go into the garage where our cars are repaired, it brings back so many wonderful memories of my dad. Well, that’s all to try to explain why I have enjoyed listening over the years to Car Talk, the public radio program hosted by Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, or by any other name, Tom and Ray Magliozzi.

Sadly, Tom Magliozzi died in 2014, but the programs continue to air. Tom’s self-proclaimed motto was

Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis, or
“unencumbered by the thought process”

which is how I seem to be behaving since last Thursday in connection with my adventures with the knee scooter.

Just to expand a little bit on the scooter adventures, which I wrote about a few days ago.

My husband watches me trying to negotiate myself through the house and shakes his head. “This is too painful to watch,” he says

I suspect he had far more trouble using the scooter in his office than I am having in the house because it is such a congested mess in there, but I didn't actually witness any of this going on—I just heard groans, the yelling, and the colorful language—because about the only time I go in his office is when he calls me in so I can see the spectacular mess he has created (Fort Richard—piles of tubs that have found their way around his chair to the point where he is just about blocked in) or to to hunt down the cat if we have forgotten to close the door to the room once she is in the house for the evening. There are hundreds of places to hide in there and we don’t want to shut her up in that room overnight.

Maneuvering through the house is really is not getting that much easier, but perhaps it will. Especially if I remember some of the mistakes I have made and don’t continue to repeat them. And what are the chances of that? Slim to none?

So much of what I do during the day is unencumbered by the thought process; I mean, if just thought ahead a little bit to what I need to do. For example...  at about 9:30 this morning I decide it is time for a second cup of coffee and to visit the bathroom, so I position myself on the scooter and propel myself into the kitchen. I coast by the kitchen counter, pour the coffee in the measuring cup that I use to it heat it up in, make the right-hand turn to coast by the microwave, pause, put the coffee in and get it going, and then maneuver myself around (which morphs the 3-point "Y-turn" into a 7- or 8-point turn) so I am going into the bathroom backwards (for this reason I find it is better to visit the bathroom before the need becomes urgent).

By the time I come out of the bathroom the coffee is done. I am headed in the right direction for the return trip to my working space—so far so good, except I have forgotten to bring with me the insulated “mini-mega mug” I am using for my coffee. It is still sitting on the 18-gallon tub next to my chair (I have learned the hard way not to leave any liquid where it can spill on the computer keyboard). So, I have to go back into my working space, get the mug, turn around (again, this is excruciating—I almost inevitably get stuck so I have to muscle the scooter around), head back into the kitchen with the mug, transfer the coffee, add the stuff to make it palatable, then turn around (again) and head back to the computer.

Thinking all the while to myself.

This is ridiculous. Use your head next time. Don’t do this again!!

And then at about 1:30 or so I decided I would like some iced tea (it’s sort of a hot, muggy day) and that it might be a good idea to visit the bathroom again. So, I heave myself out of the chair and onto the scooter and wind up at the kitchen counter… wait for it… wait for it… without the mug. So I  get to go through the whole routine again.

Am I ever going to get it? I dunno. I hope so.

1 comment:

Far Side of Fifty said...

Sounds like an old age "thing" and if you are like me, some things used to be automatic...but now I wander around thinking "why am I in the room" I guess I should make notes! :)