Mind Brain, Organization, and Healthy Habits…..

I find it to be amusing that the guy with the head injury, is well far more organized than most of the people that I know. In that I mean, I hardly ever loose anything, and the rest of the world seems to loose everything. For starters it’s not easy living in my world, if it wasn’t crazy enough with the head injury and memory issues, add in the instability of being homeless, now let’s look at the fact that I have managed to keep almost everything I own over the course of the past year. I still have my truck, and it runs (have yet to lose the keys once, knock on wood), still have my fluffy puppy, and a wonderfully full 8x5 storage unit that is packed to the brim of my mementos, and household goods.

Now I have friends that are well far less organized, and can’t find their ass from their elbow (sorry guys, but when the guy who should have lost everything still has it all and you don’t, well….). I’m not saying that I am better, fuck who am I kidding, if I’ve managed to maintain, and for the better part of the past year and a half I haven’t been in the building, I’m either one step ahead of the curve or I’m just so OCD it’s not even funny. I’m going to vote for the later as I’m so anal retentive and obsessive about things going back in their place; a good time to me is spending the day organizing a closet, or counting and sorting boxes of screws and nails by type.

So how has the guy who couldn’t remember yesterday managed to maintain his life and hold on to his possessions with out losing anything other than his passport (and that took over a year), well with what I like to call healthy habits. I’ve always been one to put thing in the same spot so that I don’t have to waste time searching for keys or my phone (although I have the moment of panic almost daily looking for the phone and most of the time I’m on it with a friend while I frantically search). Repetition is critical, for example my keys if not in the ignition, or hanging on a hook by the door (when I had one) are always in the same pocket. The same goes with my wallet, phone, earbuds, knife, and dog bags. This keeps me sane, and saves me time searching for things daily.

When it comes to my backpack it’s the same, if it’s in the same spot every time muscle memory directs me to where it is. These healthy habits and repetition leave me more time to decide what I’m going yo be wearing as well as to stress over other things in life. Like if that new sensation is something to worry about as my hand and face go numb, I wish I was kidding, but hey if I don’t have to find my keys I have more time to try and find my truck (this time I am kidding, it’s safe and sound at a friends place, I’m following doctors orders and not operating my weapon of mass destruction).

It helps that I had these habits prior to my accident, so it made it easy to keep them after, and it has helped with recovery and reducing the daily level of frustration. Another trick is to pack the night before, if you have an appointment or several and like to sleep in like I do; if you take 20 minutes before bed and gather everything you are goin to need the next day; planner, electronic devices. keys, wallet, dog treats, sketch pad, etc… it helps alleviate stress prior to leaving the house, or truck, and it helps to ensure smooth sailing for your day.

So for now the man and his dog sit waiting on the next train to somewhere, keys in one pocket, knife and wallet in respectively in theirs, earbuds and sunglasses in and on, backpack loaded up with dog treats, sketch pad, and electronics; stress load minimal as the to-do list for the day is mostly complete, and we breath as in the course of the past year we have come so far. While the journey has yet to come to an end; we have overcome some major hurdles, and recognize the accomplishments. As we near the holidays and the new year, puppers and I look forward with excitement as together we can handle anything that the world can throw this way, and when the apocalypse happens, unlike everyone else we know, I won’t be searching for the keys to the get away from dodge, just trying to scramble and find enough change to get some gas, disregard the countless doctors orders, and smile as we pull away, as you will no doubt still be trying to find your keys….

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Joel Jared Ehmann

Joel Jared Ehmann

A Man, A Dog & Their Road to Health | Sleepless inSouth Beacon Hill | Fierce Ramblings of an HIV+ gay male longing the day when the struggle ends & life begin.