A Veteran’s Tricks
Apparently I am a veteran. No, not a Veteran, as in served my country in the armed forces. I am a veteran as in one who has long term experience in a particular field. I am a veteran at life.
If you are a sports fan, you are familiar with veterans. They are the old dudes who no longer have the skills or strength they once had, but get by through experience, knowing situations and replacing skill with superior strategy.
The pitcher who loses the pop on his fastball, but knows all the batter’s weak spots. He does not blow the ball by the hitter, but he throws it in spots that the batter cannot reach…he is a veteran.
The linebacker who used to use his speed to rundown a ball carrier or sack the quarterback, now recognizes a play by the formation or the movement of a tight ends eyes, and moves to the correct spot as soon as the ball is snapped. He has lost a step but uses his experience to get the job done…he is a veteran.
I used to preform simple tasks, even multiple tasks without forgetting anything. If I misplaced my keys, I would retrace my steps in my head and then remember where I left them. These days I get lost in the retracing. I can’t get past, “Let’s see, I opened the front door and then…I got nothing.”
The solution? A veteran old person knows to always, and I mean always, leave your keys in the exact same place. When you come home, a veteran old person knows not to allow any distraction, he goes to the same exact key place, and leaves his keys in that same exact spot, then he goes on with life certain that when he needs to, he can find his keys. It is a veteran move.
When I barbequed as a rookie at this living life thing, I never forgot to turn off the grill. When I finished grilling, I would turn the burners on high to carbonize all the left-over grease, bring in the food and know to go out and turn off the burners five minutes later. I have lately lost a step. Several times in the last year, I have forgotten to turn off the burners and only realized it the next time I went to grill and the tank was empty.
The solution? Whenever I grill I jam a towel in the patio door handle. When I see the towel, it reminds me the grill is still on. As soon as I do shut off the grill, I remove the towel. It is a veteran move.
These days when I go out I often forget things. I forget my bowling ball on league night, I forget a bottle of wine when visiting friends. This never happened to a young life rookie.
The solution? If I have something special to remember, I simply put my car keys in the refrigerator. When I go to leave, my keys are not where they are supposed to be. This is my reminder that I have forgotten something, I grab the item I have forgotten, and fetch my keys out of the refrigerator, the only other place they could be. It is a veteran move.
Yes, I may be getting old. I have lost a step, but I have tricks up my sleeve. I am a veteran.