I have a severe directional disability.\n\nI\u2019ve had some bad experiences lately.\u00a0 On one occasion, my gas tank was empty, my bladder was full and I was lost.\u00a0 Not a good combination.\u00a0 I can hardly describe the relief I felt after making a pit stop to take care of the urgent needs, then turning onto a familiar road that would take me home.\n\nIt\u2019s causing me so much stress in my life, I\u2019ve decided to analyze it, to see if I can figure out why I have so many problems and make some improvements.\n\nSome relevant factors:\n\nI don\u2019t know which way is North and South.\n\nI don\u2019t know East and West if it\u2019s night or mid-day.\n\nI often confuse my Right and Left.\n\nI get disoriented easily.\n\nI have massive short term memory failure.\n\nBrain fog.\u00a0 Yes, that\u2019s a thing.\u00a0 It\u2019s also a symptom of thyroid disease, so I\u2019ll blame it on that.\n\nI\u2019m a slow learner.\n\nI\u2019m technically challenged.\n\nI need to use reading glasses, which are not always close at hand.\n\nI\u2019m not used to my phone and don\u2019t know how to operate it well.\n\nI have trouble making decisions under pressure.\n\nI drive a stick shift.\n\nI don\u2019t have a bird\u2019s eye view of geography.\n\nI don\u2019t know which direction cities and towns are.\n\nI don\u2019t know where I live in relation to other cities and towns.\n\nI don\u2019t carry a map in the car.\n\nI often forget to charge my phone.\n\nWhen I print directions I forget to look up a return route.\n\nI\u2019m not used to using google maps on my phone.\n\nAfter missing a turn or getting lost, turning around can be stressful.\n\nI day dream a lot, especially in the car-- riding or driving.\n\nI'm not detail oriented.\n\nI'm not observant. \u00a0(Maybe one reason I love Sherlock so much.)\n\nI have trouble with focus and concentration. \u00a0My mind wanders faster than a two year old.\n\nThis is my life and it isn\u2019t pretty.\n\n\n\nHaving broken down the components of the necessary skills, there's some areas I can work on and improve.\n\nHere's what helps:\n\n1. Doing my homework before I set out. \u00a0This is key. \u00a0Life is busy. \u00a0It's tempting to think "I'll figure it out on the way." \u00a0Plus I'm preoccupied with what to wear, what snacks to throw in, what else do I need to bring, who do I need to communicate with and what's the weather going to be like. \u00a0 (I do live in Indiana, after all.)\n\nBut, if I don't take enough time to actually study and understand the directions before I leave, I'm setting myself up for a bad experience.\n\nAlso, it helps me to take a minute to be mindful about which direction different cities lie \u00a0and which direction I'm heading.\n\nI also need to plan a return route. \u00a0When you're severely directionally challenged, you can't just re-trace your steps.\n\n2. Two sets of directions. \u00a0One printed from Maquest, plus Google Maps on my phone.\n\n3. Make a cheat sheet. For me, this means a condensed version of the directions, with all the critical info written in large type.\n\n4. Recharge the phone in the car. \u00a0Easy fix.\n\n5. Focus and concentrate at the critical junctures. \u00a0During a one hour trip, for insistence, there might be only twenty minutes when concentration is necessary and 40 minutes of smooth sailing. \u00a0It's not necessary to be on hyper alert the whole time.\n\nIf you never have a problem getting where you need to go, more power to you!\n\nAnd three cheers for any analysis that makes life better.