Brain Rot


| 10/14/2010 2:40:53 PM


Tags: memory, memory loss, senior moment, forgetfullness, Allan Douglas,

A photo of Allan DouglasOK, I admit that I *have* passed the half-century mark in age, but I do not consider myself old, although the term “old” does seem to have taken on some fluidity over the years. When I was a kid, 35 seemed ancient, when I got to be 35, 65 was old.  Now that I’m mid-50’s, old is somewhere above 80. And I most certainly do not consider myself to be the least bit senile, although … I have caught myself having what some would call a “senior moment” now and again. 

Just the other day, it was a Saturday, the day I always fix a nice breakfast for my sweetie – omelets are my specialty, but I can do other things too – I found myself standing in the kitchen, with an array of delicious food stuffs neatly arranged on the counter, but could not for the life of me remember what I had planned to cook. I stood there for several moments, looking at the items I’d laid out hoping for a clue. Finally it came to me and I forged ahead again. But it was embarrassing, even though I was the only one who knew about it.

Except that now you know, but you won't tell on me will you dear reader?

It wasn’t the first time, I can’t even count the times I’ve gone into another room to get or do something only to wonder, “Why did I come in here?” That is disconcerting.

But I’ve been absent minded all my life, even as a kid I had a terrible memory. Not that I was stupid, I was actually quite bright; scoring well above average on all the IQ tests they did on us in school, but I had a hard time remembering things that had no practical and immediate application, as I saw it. 

I was an airplane buff. I had dozens of model airplanes hanging from my bedroom ceiling. I knew each of them on sight, and could give you statistics and anecdotal information on most any aircraft ever built. But ask me what the capital of Rumania is and I was a blank.

allan douglas
10/17/2010 2:40:30 PM

Thanks for dropping in Cindy. I know someone who does that half-finished sentence thing occasionally. She just sort of trails off like she lost interest in what she was saying. I figure if it was THAT boring, I don't need to know either. Although sometimes she does pique my curiosity with the spoken part and I have to poke her (verbally) to get her running again before she forgets. I've never heard of the brandied raisins thing, but it seems to me that alchohol tends to contribute to memory loss more than retention. But hey; who am I to criticize, right?


allan douglas
10/17/2010 2:30:20 PM

Dave, Always a pleaseure to have you drop in for a visit. I have recently abandoned my electronic calendar for two reasons. One: it helps with that simplifying thing - what doesn't fit in the day-block doesn't get scheduled, so I have to prioritize better, and two: my computer keeps crashing and I'm sick of calling all my relatives begging for birthday and anniversary data on their family. Along the same vein, I've decided to enter into a forced exercize of my brain muscle by turning off my password remembering thingie in the computer - talk about a mental work-out!


cindy murphy
10/16/2010 8:12:20 PM

Too funny, Allan. I could soooo see myself doing the same - laying out an array of food, and forgetting what I was going to cook. I drive my family nuts sometimes...often, actually; at least twice a day. I start a sentence, and leave it hanging mid-way through. The teenager, dripping sarcasm: "Mom, are you going to finish your sentence?" (She knows I'm not.) Hubs blurts out random things in hopes that one of them will complete my thought. The nine year-old just rolls her eyes. After the sarcasm, blurting, and eye-rolling is done, I've forgotten what I was going to say. Mom was big on memory-enhancing dietary tricks. When Dad was alive they ate brandy-soaked white raisins; she read somewhere that it was supposed to improve memory by eating a certain amount each day...it had to be that certain amount; no more, no less. After seeing a giant jar of the things on her counter once, I asked her how many. She couldn't remember, (that could have something to do with the brandy, I'm thinking). My brother and I found that jar while cleaning out her house after she died this spring. It was shoved way back in the corner of a bottom cabinet, as other things replaced its spot front and center. It was black and toxic looking. It's been over 13 years since Dad died - I'm sure it's at least that old. She probably forgot it was in there. Enjoy your day, (and remember you did).


nebraska dave
10/15/2010 6:09:52 PM

@Allan, your friend Mike and I have the same philosophy. I too believe that after 60 years there’s a lot of information stored in my brain so when I go to look for something it might take awhile to find just where I put it. Dates and times are becoming increasingly difficult to keep straight. Thank goodness for electronic calendars. I rely on them tremendously. When I think back thirty years ago my calendar of eventful things was only a couple during the week but now it’s 10 or 15 things, meetings, and events to keep track of. I think that life is a little busier today than years ago. I’m on the back end of life and seriously trying to simplify the schedule. I’ve always had difficulty with names but have learned to just ask a couple times and forget about being embarrassed. After a couple awkward moments I remember the name. It’s quite amazing that I can actually remember what I’ve talked about the last time I talked with the person but can’t remember the name. There just must be something about remembering names. More people have trouble remembering names than any other thing. Some years ago I had aspirations of completing my college degree. I quickly discovered that my brain was not used to being in the learning mode. After a year it was much easier. The degree never happened but I learned that the brain is like a muscle, “you don’t use it you lose it.” Have a great brain active day.





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