Posted by: Daisy | May 1, 2008

Turn around twice and I’m lost

I’ve told this story many times, and the reason I keep telling it is because people find it amusing.  I guess in a nice kind of way, they find it hard to believe an intelligent, beautiful woman (come on, work with me here) can be so blond. 

I’ll tell you now – it’s not about being blond.  It’s just a weakness.  We can’t be good at everything.

I’ve got horrible spatial abilities.  It is true: if you turn me around a few times, there is a high chance I will get lost.  I don’t know which way is North, South, East or West, and yes, I do know the sun sets in the West.  Make me look up towards the sun, and I’ll only say – PLEASE, just help me find my way!

When I was in Grade 5, I moved to a new neighbourhood.  I lived in a townhouse complex with lots and lots of townhouses that looked exactly the same as the other, nestled amongst a bunch of little private roadways.  From my front door, I could look out and see my new public school across the street and to the right.  On my first day at the new school, I walked to school alone.  At lunch, I left the school and walked towards my house.  Except I couldn’t find it.  I knew it was to the right of the school, in the complex of townhomes, but I couldn’t find it.  I knew it was #12, but I couldn’t find it.  I knew it had a white rock on the front lawn, and I was starting to panic because I still couldn’t find it.  How could I possibly not be able to find my new home?  The front door faces the school?!!!

My weakness.  Is definately someone else’s strength.

Oh, don’t worry.  I finally found my way and had my lunch.  I even graduated from Grade 5 and moved on to bigger and better things.  But not before getting lost once again on my way home that same day.  Oh yes.  Lost going home.  Twice in the same day.

Since then, I have found other strategies for coping with this, and I’m writing this in all seriousness – these are the real steps I take to prevent myself from getting ridiculously lost.

  1. When I park my car at any new parking lot, I write down what level I’m on and any other pertinent details like letters or numbers indicating area of parking lot.
  2. As I walk away from my car towards the elevator or stairs, I keep turning around to get a visual of where my car is.  I remember things like:  “to the left of the long hallway, do not enter sign on right”.  At ANY turn I make walking, I turn around again to get another visual.  “Turn left.”
  3. When I get out of stairwell or elevator, I write down the building name and/or address of the parking lot I am at.  I include the intersection (small roads and big ones too).
  4. As I walk away from parking lot building towards my destination, I again turn around at every turn, to get a visual of what the walk will look like when I attempt to retrieve my car.

Old parking lots are GREAT.  I park in the same area every single time.  Even my husband tells everyone:  “oh, you’re meeting her at Fairview?  She’ll be parking on P3 right of the front elevator facing the store.”

Everyone’s got their own weaknesses, and we may as well have fun with them, laugh, and find strategies for dealing with them.

I’m very happy that I have a way to find my car now.  Next step, I need a GPS.

– Daisy

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Responses

  1. Hi Daisy,
    I totally understand this. I can get lost easily too. Although once I’ve been someplace I seem to get it registered on my radar. Though I can’t tell you how many times I’ve got out to a shopping mall parking lot and pannicked when I t hought my car was stolen, only to discover I was actually parked on the level above or below the one I was on. Lord, the stuff we do to make life interesting. 😉 WC

    Thanks for visiting – I’ve got more panicked-stolen-car-syndrome than I’d like to admit, but at least now I know and rarely jump to that conclusion. – Daisy

  2. I hear you on the “Writing it down” thing. When I go to the airport, before I even get out of the car, I book an “appointment” in my blackberry for the time ofmy return, with the parking spot location! And the funny thing is, whenever I get the “reminder”, it always suprises me…”oh yeah! I forgot where I parked!”

    It’s not about having weaknesses, it’s about finding how to compensate (or with whom). Surround yourself with people or technology that’s great at what you’re not.

    Jim

    Hmm. I never thought of putting it in the calendar for my return trip – that’s a great idea! Thanks! – Daisy


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