What Was I Going to Write?

image Like most people my age, I find myself among older people a lot. It’s not so much a conscious choice as common interests. The movies we choose often attract an older audience and live theater would not survive without its senior audience. The park, particularly during the week is the habitat of the retired and semi-retired. And except for talking with my daughter and my son, I mostly communicate with people within shouting distance of my age. Even the men in my Men’s groups are aging with me (although, damn it, I seem to be staying ahead of most of them). There are those who tell me they like to be around younger people to keep them young. For me, that is one of the reasons God put my grandchildren on this earth … I don’t need to be young, I need to be childlike. I like being around seniors. They … at least the ones I choose to talk to … tend to be more honest, more comfortable in their own skin, more compassionate, and yes, a lot less noisy than all those younger adults out there. But the other side of the coin … there is always another side of the coin in this life … is that I get to see the effects of aging all around me. The forty-year old in my head can’t kid himself.

I am pretty sharp mentally for an older guy. I write a lot and solve analytical problems most people half my age couldn’t solve. But that doesn’t mean I am immune to Senior Moments. The small ones are the times I reach for the name of a movie or an author of a book I love and I find a blank page in my mental file cabinet. Larger are the times I dash purposefully downstairs only to find myself standing in the kitchen wondering what that purpose was. Or when I stop at Home Depot on my way to the park and have to wander the aisles until I see whatever it was I needed so immediately. Senior Moments. A term we use to make light of our forgetfulness, when often it really is an Oh-Shit-I’m-Losing-My-Memory Moment. Because when we hang around with mostly seniors, we also get to see those with serious memory problems … Alzheimers or some other form of dementia. And no matter how many crossword puzzles we do or blog posts we write or Ginkgo-Bilobas we pop, we wonder if we are headed down that road. And we try … damn it … we try to come up with that name, that place we just can’t remember.

I was talking with my friend, Barry, about just this subject when I remembered an article I read that said that wracking your brain to come up with that missing think is exactly the wrong thing to do psychologially, that it trains your brain not to remember. And that it’s better to just look up what you are looking for as soon as possible. And a double benefit if you are a senior is it minimizes the time you are worrying about whether your senior moment is an Oh-Shit. When I am blogging, if I reach a spot where that perfect word is on the tip of my tongue but out of reach, I type a blank space … ________ … and come back to it. My wife, Muri, often suggests I am acting like an over-grown teenager when I Google things continually on my phone but actually I am acting like a senior who doesn’t want to worry about his memory. No, she does not want to hear, I am doing what’s best psychologically. She wants me to put the phone away. Sometimes, I do, when I’m not acting like an over-grown teenager.

So, don’t waste time … and don’t teach your brain not to remember … by dwelling on your Senior Moments. And if you are really concerned, there’s a good article here about when to see a doctor. And remember to have a great weekend.

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4 Comments on “What Was I Going to Write?”

  1. Muri Reed Says:

    Funny picture!!

  2. lifeunderacarolinamoon Says:

    All too true. I work around young (women) corpmen in my job everyday. I love them all but, would never prefer their company over someone my own age. Comman interests and a shared history of sorts makes for a more satisfiying friendship. And, those Senior Moments? I’m a blond (albeit with help;now) so I’m used to not remembering what I was doing. HA!
    I always enjoy reading your blog.

  3. LeeAnn Says:

    I can always “hear” you reading these…Loved this one! All too true.

  4. territerri Says:

    Well, should I be worried that all of this sounds all too familiar to me? And I haven’t even hit 50 yet? I just read an article that says my brain should be healthier as I grow older due to the type of work I do. (I deal with a lot of data and do my fair share of analytics.) So I have hope that my brain will stay in good shape, but just yesterday, I could not for the life of me remember the name of that Wheel of Fortune game show host who has worked alongside Vanna White for as long as I can remember.

    (I did come up with Pat Sajak’s name fairly soon afterwards. But still…)

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