Ah, the element of age. It is delightful, is it not? This morning I noticed that the lampshade across the room was a bit out of kilter. I got up to make the adjustment and heard my dog lapping at an empty water dish. Oh, good gosh, I am a bad pup parent. I am so sorry, Seeker! I scurried into the kitchen to add water to his dish and saw my empty pill organizer on the counter. Goodness, I need to take my meds. Where in the world is my head this morning?
Meds ingested I see that I left a few dirty dishes in the sink. Good heavens girl, you have become such a slob. Cleaning took maybe three minutes. Why didn’t I do that yesterday? And then I remembered the email from my water provider reminding me today is the delivery day. I must go grab the empty water bottles and get them out on the porch for pickup and exchange. And wow, it is cold outside. I never put on any socks this morning. I should do that. My feet are cold.
So, I decide to pretend to be a big person, get out of my pajamas, and attempt to engage in a productive day. I grab my laptop, make another cup of coffee, and sit down to start on a new blog. I look up and there it is – that dang lampshade, still out of kilter. And so, the drama starts all over again.
Am I alone here? I doubt it, yet it is an everyday occurrence for me anymore. I have learned over the past months that announcing my intentions does help. When I take my glasses off at any time during the day for whatever reason, I literally verbalize aloud where they are – “Glasses are on the sofa table, genius.” Why? Because sure enough, if I do not, I will end up spending hours looking for them.
And so, the research begins. Am I normal or am I headed down a path of no return? They say that stress, depression, a vitamin B-12 deficiency, insufficient sleep, some prescription drugs, and infections can all play a role. None of those are relative to my current lifestyle. Studies have also shown that exercise, staying mentally active, socializing regularly, and eating a healthy diet can minimize symptoms. I am no Jillian Michaels or Richard Simmons, but I am hardly a garden slug. I tax my brain daily as well, so other issues must be at play here.
Scientists say that after the age of 25 the hippocampus (brain region crucial in the formation of memories) loses 5% of its nerve cells with each passing decade. Aging changes the connection strengths between neurons in the brain so it sweeps out and rejuggles memories to make room for new ones. It is just a fact that as we age, the brain has to work harder to focus.
Of course, I also read that overindulging in alcohol can affect both long- and short-term memory as well. Too many drinks can indeed damage a person’s memory. If that were totally true, my memory would have completely failed probably in my 30’s. I count blessings every day that my God given common sense ended that era.
Bottom line, I believe I am just aging gracefully. Absentmindedness, muddled thoughts, and fading memories go with the territory. I wish I could “forget” to crave ice cream and French fries though. And for those concerned, I did rush to make certain I did not forget to refill the dog’s water bowl. If you will excuse me, however, I now need to go deal with that frickin’ lampshade. Ah, but that is fodder for yet another rant.
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