Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Oh yes, it has happened. The loss of thought in mid sentence, the name of a person you once knew is now just out of reach of your memory, arriving in a room in search of something, but what that something is, was forgotten mid trip. These brain hiccups started infrequently in my late 50's and insidiously have become more frequent occurrences. Mind, oh mind, where art thou???

Am I frightened that I am losing my mental capacities?? Naw, not frightened at all, just darn annoyed. I feel that by living quite a while, that I am suffering from information overload. Each day, new information is flooding our minds. Why, I can actually pronounce Ahmedinejad which looks like someone typing on the wrong home position. That word, along with all the new ones daily, has to find a niche in our crammed full brains.

My filing system is just antiquated. I am having trouble placing all the new information we are bombarded with daily in the proper slots for easy retrieval. To make room for the new, something usually gets deleted, like the name of that guy you knew in the 80's. Unfortunately, we can't choose what is to be deleted which is the "rub". That is why you never see older people on game shows. Our instant recall is all backed up and needs a good flushing out.

I wish I could uninstall outdated, no longer needed, information. Who today needs to know how to make a Harvey Wallbanger? That could definitely go. I would love to defragment my files. I need to clean up my registry. Since our brains are like computers, why can't we maintain them as such? When science learns to do that, old age will be a lot more palatable. So what can we do in the mean time?? I have a few tried and proven practices that work for me.

First is the mental post it note. When I lay something down that I know I will need once again in this lifetime, I make a mental note immediately,"Remember that your glasses are on the shelf over the TV." The key word to use in your note, is "remember". Trust me, this works. Do not leave a mental note and see how much time you spend searching for those darn glasses Of course always leaving your stuff in the same spot each time is simpler but not near the challenge.

Make physical notes also. On your grocery list, below the last item on your list, put any trips not related to the grocery store. Go to library, pay propane bill, check the co-op for cheap bird seed. Sounds silly but can't say how many times I have thumped my head when I get home from a town trip and realize, "Aw, crap, I forgot to....."

Finally, my best friend is the door. When I am planning an"out " trip, what I know I will need, I hang on the front door knob. No way to miss that camera you mean to take, the bag that has the blouse you want to return, or the leash to remind you to take the hopeful looking dog.

By now, I'm sure you have me rated as positively pitiful, Trust me, you too shall see this as time clogs up your filing system. The good thing is that we can fight back. One momentary hiccup in an hour's time, does not diminish the fully functioning 16 other hours we spend each day awake. You have to consider the ratio of good mind to "oops" mind. You will be surprised at how much more good mind time you have.

One of the very best "mind helpers" I have discovered is blogging. Trying to think of something new each day to write. Trying to put thoughts into words that someone besides myself can understand. These have sharpened my lazy mind enormously.

Those of you who are still puppies will view this post as nothing you have to even consider.You probably can shop without a grocery list. Bless you and I hope by the time you reach my age, there will be a pill for this. Those of you walking in my path, relax and do not fear. We still have minds like steel traps, they are just a wee bit rusted.

Exercise those brains and don't forget those mental post it notes.


  1. "I would love to defragment my files."

    Oh how I wish that were possible!! Good post, Patti and I relate all too well.

    I answered your question in my comments.

  2. Oh yes, I was in the process of going to the shop to get something I needed at the moment and when I got there I couldn't remember what I was there for. That's spooky. Fortunately, it only happened once or twice.

    About the two hole privy...

    Yes, once or twice I have seen two boys my age using one each hole with the door wide open.

  3. Cute post, Patti. George and I are BOTH there... We are constantly telling each other to remember to do this and such!!!! You'd think with two of us trying to remember, we would. Well--sometimes we do and sometimes we don't...

    The best way to find your glasses is to have several pairs in various places around the house and in the car!!!! ha

    Oh--ain't it fun to get old??? Now--what is it that I said I was going to do next??????? ha ha


  4. Ah yes, now that I'm approaching my late 50s, I have noticed that I need to write things down more often. I also use the "remember this" approach, and it does work quite well. I wouldn't mind defragmenting my files as well. I could use a good self-programmed delete button too.

  5. I read something, somewhere on the Internet, in the last week or so about the discovery of a substance that makes rats forget how to run a thoroughly familiar maze. It's supposed to have some potential use in humans to help them forget---- but darned if I can remember where I saw it. The substance must have wafted through the cosmos and has affected me already! LOL

  6. kenju,
    Wouldn't it be cool to get rid of unnecessary stuff. At least we are not alone.

    I'll check out your comment.


    Two boys in an out house with the door open? Sounds fragrant to me.
    Good luck with the extra trips our mind makes. Just good exercise.

    Two minds should do the trick. Divide up the things to be remembered and make each of you responsible for just half. Might work.

    Ah, the baby of the group. Love that you are implimenting the "remember" techinque. It really does work doesn't it? I like the self programmnig idea.

    You are kidding. Reseachers think we need "help" forgetting?? Who are these youngsters? Where have they been. We need "remember" pills. Truth be told, I saw the same story but can't remember where or even why such a pill is necessary. Guess we don't need it.

  7. When I was working, I had to put a Post-It note on the inside of my front door, reminding me to turn up/down my thermostat. I didn't want to heat or cool my apartment all day while I was away. I learned to put other notes on that door, too, and that helped a lot.

    If I thought of something I needed to do later, I called my phone number and left myself a message on my answering machine.

  8. Great post, because I recognize all those things you wrote about. I also keep forgetting names, but I remember facts. Thanks for sharing! Thanks also for your visit.

  9. Betty
    That is a good idea to leave your self a message on voice mail.
    Glad to see you use post its also. What a great invention.

    Reader Wil,
    Welcome to the not so exclusive club. Guess all we can do is laugh about it and exercise those brains.

  10. Memory loss does have its advantageous - you can watch your favorite movies over again and experience them like it’s the first time.

  11. LOL, LOL...Great Post! And I understand completely! Some of it is the "synapses" moving slower....and maybe if we could "Disk Clean" and Disk Defragment", as you suggest, we too could get those synapses to move quicker....!

    BTW: You asked how I knew that Daddy & Olga locked their Bedroom door there in France....

  12. jewels,
    If only it worked that way. Don't worry, by the time you are ready for this failing, there will be a pill. Youth shall prevail.

    Sounds good to me.
    Now that is a perfectly innocent explanation of the locked door. Not at all what I thought. Waiting for the next installment.

  13. Thanks Patti post-it notes are a great suggestion. So many times I go to a room and think what did I come in here to get. About eighteen years ago my daughter said mom you are getting old because you are forgetting things. I said yes and what's your problem. That just proves that forgetting has no age limit.