May 11, 2009

Stupid Is As Stupid Does, Or Something Like That.

I left my purse at the grocery store the other night. And didn't realize it until hours later.

I'm actually pretty surprised I even figured it out that early. My mind hasn't been the sharpest lately, obviously, if I'm leaving my purse and money places.

My first thought was, at least I didn't forget the baby! I don't mean that as a joke either. I've known people to forget their baby (usually in safe places like the house or church only to remember quite quickly before they drove off -usually- so all was well) and I can't judge... because while I don't think I would EVER forget my child anywhere, with how I multitask these days, I need to watch myself.

I have five windows open on my computer screen right now. You all know the drill with the rest of the things I do everyday (I whine on about it too often) while juggling all the other things I have to do. I think we all can relate, if even a tiny bit.

Reader's Digest is sponsoring this post as they have a recent article: 7 Dumb Things We Do.

We're human. We do dumb stuff. Some people more than others. Lately I feel like some people.

Number 3 on the list is when we multitask, we get stupid.

So when at the grocery store it's not too much of a surprise I'd leave my purse at the register while I tended to Ivy, worried I was over the 20 item express lane limit, dropped my cell phone, and tried to fit my bags in the bottom of the stroller and on my arms.

Or yesterday when I'm shopping with the whole family at Kmart and walking along pretty carefree (I was having a good day!) and I run smack dab head on into the security detector thing that was as tall as me. Of course I let out a huge dramatic Ahhhh! So embarrassing.

I so need to slow it down. I need to PAY ATTENTION.

In the article, there are some "Mistake Proof Your Life" suggestions.

Such as SLOW DOWN:
Multitasking can cause our error rate to go up, as our attention becomes divided. It makes sense to slow down and do things one at a time. The slower approach may actually be more efficient in the long run.

I am sure it's more efficient for soul, mind, and body. I have a feeling that if I'd had a moment of slowing down and/or had more sleep (another good suggestion) then maybe my decision making skills would be better. Maybe I wouldn't bump into so many large objects. Or write borderline disrespectful things about my innocent and helpful husband on Mother's Day.

While multitasking probably has good intentions to begin with, I think it's (speaking for myself) a selfish habit. Because over all I think I'm giving less with the intention of getting more.

And that will have you landing on your face in the end every time.



[P.S. I do heart Reader's Digest- not just because they sponsored this post. I grew up with those little magazines in every corner of my house (especially the bathroom) as it's my Dad's favorite thing to read even to this day. Smiled when I saw one in their bathroom when I was over there yesterday!]

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  1. I'm afraid I've got one better for you. Not once, not twice, but THREE times my mom has gone to the grocery store, loaded up her cart, paid for her groceries, and then driven home while leaving the groceries at the store! She always gets the bag boy to load the stuff in her trunk, and she is known to go to her and just drive home instead of driving up to the front door of the store for him to load her up. Luckily I grew up in a small town, so the store manager knows to just call my dad and tell him that she did it again!
    And she only just turned 60 this year!

  2. I knew someone who drove off with their baby in the infant carseat ON THE ROOF OF THEIR CAR. They went about a half mile before they, er, rectified the situation, but still.

    So don't worry, leaving your purse at the grocery is nothing =)

  3. My parents still keep old copies of Reader's Digest all over their house (esp the bathrooms). And I totally agree with multitasking makes me stupid, but with 5 kids, sometimes I guess I just have to be stupid! And I too have left my wallet at the grocery store more than once. The kids laugh because one of the grocery stores I love packs your groceries and then you drive up for them to be loaded into your car ... FIVE times I have driven straight home only to relaize I forgot to drive up and get my already paid for groceries loaded into my car ...UGH Yes FIVE times I've had to turn around and head back to the store and confess my forgetfllness to the guy who packs the groceries into your car.

  4. I feel ya. I left my wallet at the grocery store and realized it 3 DAYS LATER.

  5. Oh heavens...haven't we all been there?

    Two stories to share:

    The first, often I am trying to drive away from the drive thru on one of those days (where everything goes wrong and you're making take-out for dinner!) only to discover that though I paid, I didn't wait for my food.

    The other: last year John was 3 months old and my sis picked me up for garage saling. I got some great deals and when she dropped me off, we both rushed into the house with our purchases to show my husband. We had a quick visit and said our goodbyes. As she was walking down the walkway, I looked around and realized that John was still in her car!!! The only thing that made me feel better was that she had forgotten about him too!

  6. I'm not a good multi-tasker, at. all. I have been known to walk out the door with slippers and a towel still on my head from the shower. I don't even try to multi task any more. It is too dangerous.

  7. I always forget something somewhere. I know that I am thinking of other things, and just walk away. Not good, but I am getting better. I am slowing down a bit too, not an easy thing for me to do it seems.

  8. ha, we've all been guilty of overdoing it and making mistakes. Slow down is great advise.

    Love the new layout!

  9. My grandparents read Reader's Digest and I used to love going to their house and just reading the jokes in them!

    I, too, have been focusing more on mindfulness in my daily life. It's hard!

  10. I've had more of those moments lately than I'd care to admit. I love this post.


  11. You have a guardian angel watching over you girl! Makes me think of the time you left your purse on the cow in Wisconsin. Yes, your dad LOVES Reader's Digest. He probably has ones buried somewhere from the 70's.

  12. Stupid is all over the place. I spent from 5-6am working today, only to leave the memory stick at home and not be able to use it.

    Ah well.

    I blagged my entire day, teaching off the top of my dome.

    And yeah, a happy post! I'm glad it's all picking up again - I think it's hormones.

  13. Well, did you get your purse back with everything in it? I have learned both from experience and some scientific research I read but can't remember where that the older we get the harder it is to multitask. I've also decided that multitasking usually means that several things get done poorly. I have left my groceries at Vitamin Cottage and I didn't have any little kids with me.

    Readers Digest is one of the few magazines I will always buy whether by subscription or at the store. That and Good Housekeeping. Do you have any blogging relationships with Good Housekeeping?

    I do try not to keep a bunch of old issues around after a few months. Our library happily accepts my old magazines.

  14. Oh I do stupid stuff all the time, we all do. It's part of being busy Moms I think.

    I also heart Reader's Digest. My favorite though is walking into the bathroom and seeing my kids "reading" it while going to the bathroom. That's the best :)

  15. I am the same way when I multitask. I'll walk into a room while on the way to do something else and start on something else there. And then forgot why I was going into the original room in the first place. I think that's just a mom thing, though. We can be crazy like that.

  16. My home back in the 50's and 60's ALWAYS had that little Reader's Digest treat. I used to love the humor section! And speaking of forgetfulness, last week when I was watching Audrey's 2 youngest guys for a few days... one afternoon I went to CVS with them to get "stuff" like toilet paper and milk, etc... and at the register I looked down to see my fuscia-colored slippers! When I told my husband, he said, "Oh, at least they look like shoes!" Fuscia? Fleece? Shoes!!??

    I'm laughing now, but then? I couldn't wait to get in my car and get home!! You younger women and mommies bring multi-tasking to new heights. I cannot keep up!!!!

  17. Oh boy can I relate! Slowing down is a good thing. Being fully present in the moment is even better.

    Love you site's new look.

  18. Oh, Reader's Digest... What a nice magazine.

    Hey, at least you didn't drive all the way to the Field Museum with your 3 kids who can't eat in the sample car you're driving so they couldn't realize that you had left the LUNCH BAG sitting on the grass beside the driveway until you had paid for parking at the museum!

    I had $6 in singles, a $2 bill, and $5 in QUARTERS. Good times.

  19. I am with you here today more than ever. I have been feeling so scatter brained lately...and I think what you, and the article are saying makes complete sense.

    First on my list is more sleep, I'm certain that lack of it accounts for at least half of my crazyness!

  20. I've never left a purse anywhere, but when I went into labor with Luke, I called my midwife's emergency number, left a message.... and left the cordless phone turned on, so when she called back, she got a busy signal. It took us an hour and a half of wondering why she wasn't calling back before Shane suggested I check the phone. Dumbest moment ever!

  21. A couple of months ago, when my son was about 3 months old, my mom came over to watch him while I ran to Target for some essentials. When I got in my car, I looked down at my bright pink sheepskin slippers. I live on the third floor, and I was so not going back up. So what, I thought, people will think they are cute winter shoes.
    As I was crossing the lot and heading towards the doors, an old lady came out and made a beeline towards me, giggling. "Oh honey," she said, "You remind me of myself! I almost wore my slippers out today, too!"
    Oh, joy.

  22. This is so true - we think multitasking is a good thing, but it's just NOT- it's not effective & it's stressful. That's why I'm quitting my job- watching my child while working is too hard. :(

    And we tweeted about this that night, but I have left my purse LOTS of places. My hubby used to get so annoyed about it when we were he's just used to it. :)

  23. My grandmother gave us subscriptions to readers digest every year! love them! I hate to break it steph but having four kids is multi tasking in itself!

  24. I often wonder though if there's a moment in motherhood where we aren't multitasking, especially with multiple children!

    It's funny, I've often times said that same exact thing "at least I didn't forget the baby..." to my husband, and he laughs, having no idea that I actually do worry about doing that!

  25. I am trying to get myself out of the habit of multitasking. Especially when it comes to email. I read it as soon as it comes in but then I never (okay I do but I take to long) respond. I hate that I do that but I keep doing it.

  26. Oh I needed this post! I got home from the grocery store the other day and realized that Sugar was in her carseat but WASN'T BUCKLED! Oh... the mommy guilt I felt about that, so glad nothing bad happened!

    I've been trying to slow down and just do one thing at a time... it's hard, but it's getting easier and I definitely think it's worth the effort!

  27. I left my purse at a coffee shop just two days ago!

  28. Oh, I hate to tell you, but it only gets worse when you get older. Unfortunately, we live in the time of multitasking. We all have too much to do in too little time. Love the new blog look!

  29. Great post, Steph. My favourite part of RD, even as a kid, was the "Word Power" section. And the jokes, of course! Does that cancel out the geekiness? ;)

  30. I lost my car keys at the airport-dug through my bags, EVERYWHERE, and was all ready to just cry when I discovered my toddler had them! Then earlier today I couldn't find my wallet after I told my mother in law I wanted to take her to lunch...yea, embarassing! I did find it later in my cloth shopping bag and have no idea why becuase I haven't used that bag in!

  31. I am always doing dumb stuff. Mostly, I get in the car start driving and then realize I should probably have thought out the route before I left the parking lot.

  32. Ah yes, good ole Reader's Digest. I used to love the little jokes at the end of each article.

    I leave my purse places ALL THE TIME! I've just stopped taking it in if I don't need it. It's just not worth it!

  33. Okay, I love Reader's Digest too. I'm a subsciber.

    We were taking about all the silly/stupid things we have done at Mother's Day breakfast, and this one was funny. My SIL's mother was late for her bridal shower because she had the GPS set to take her home instead of to the shower. She didn't realize until she was in her neighborhood.

  34. Hey, I love the new look of your blog! I had to double check to see where I was! I liked your previous look too.

    I left my purse at a gas station once and had to get all new everything -- even my Social Security card. Ugh! So I relate.

    I love the Reader's Digest funny stories that people send in.

  35. I can so identify with this post Steph. We women are good at multitasking but sometimes we just overdo don't we! Thanks for the honesty in your writing. Love it!

  36. I heart this post and your sponsor. Been reading it -- RD not you -- since I was a little kid. (Tho' I'd have read you if you'd had a blog back then or if there'd been an internet or if you'd been born when I was a kid.)

  37. I can't tell you the number of times that I've set my coffee travel mug on top of the car, buckled up Mackenzie, then backed out of the driveway-only to watch my coffee spill down the windows. Grrrr. I have another one for you, though. Has your hubby ever arrived home from work, watched you make the mad dash out to run an errand WITHOUT the children-only to arrive at your destination and discover you've been wandering around Target wearing a burp cloth? Oh yeah. Been there done that, my friend. Good times.

  38. I have vivid memories of my mother leaving me and my brother at the grocery store as "collateral" while she dashed home to grab the purse she had forgotten...

    Sarah - your carseat story gives me chills. I like to think that if I ever had a "moment" that I'll be lucky like the parents in your story instead of living out a tragedy. Did you read the article about parents who left their kids in a hot car ? I never get into a car now with my daughter without thinking about it.

  39. Whenever I visit my dad, I head straight for his bathroom copy of Reader's Digest.

    And I totally hear you on the multitasking thing. I can handle certain tasks, like say doing the dishes and carrying on a conversation, together. But there are times I push it, with potentially disastrous consequences. Ever tried calling somebody while sending an email, then forget who you are calling when they pick up, and/or send the email to the wrong person? Oh yeah. I have.

  40. I have lots of "Reader's Digest memories" too. My mom loved that little mag...and I always ended up reading it too...because I read EVERYTHING when I was a kid. Literally. I think I read every book on our bookshelf. And we had A LOT of books! :)

  41. It's so true for me that when I multitask, I get stupid. Thanks for the reminder to slow down.


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