A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Wednesday, Wednesday, can’t trust that day…

If you have CRS (can’t remember sh*t), how do you remember to do important things?  I ask this question because my friend’s husband asked her the same question about me: if Pam is forgetful, how does she remember to write her blog? Good question. One I struggled with early on, cuz my early posts were not too frequent. Why? Because I would forget to blog.

I was listening to a piece on my favorite NPR show today: Fresh Air (found here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125902095 ). The guest was a woman named Barbara Strauch who has written a book called The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind.  Strauch, like me and countless others (I’m assuming), suffers bouts of memory loss. She couldn’t remember why she went downstairs (to get paper towels), couldn’t remember what she had for dinner last week, etc. Sound familiar? Yep. That’s me too.  Strauch asks what is happening in middle age (a term I am growing to resent, thank YOU) that causes our memories to decline?  That’s exactly it, age.  

Age causes our brains to decline. Encouraging, huh? She goes on to say that blah blah blah forgetfulness is a normal part of aging.  Supposedly, when we are taking in information we should try to focus more intently on the first portion of what’s being presented because that’s where we (us old fogies) tend to get distracted. And of course, if you’re distracted, youre not paying attention. And if youre not paying attention, you cannot retain whatever it is youre supposed to be paying attention to. What? Yeah ok that’s all fine but what if you’ve already received the information (like years ago) and you can’t recall it?

Strauch has something to say about that too.  As we age, some of the things we learn never go away. I’ve blogged about this before: we don’t forget how to ride a bike (that is, if we ever learned), take a shower, drive, etc.  She calls these the autobiographical stuff. Stuff that’s kinda like second nature. Fortunately for me, I have not forgotten HOW to take a shower. I may forget to shower or forget to wash off, but I basically can get in there and do what I need to do. 

What’s been difficult for me (and I assume others) is what Strauch calls episodic memory. You know, not remembering someone’s name if you don’t see them in the place where they’re usually seen (like seeing my co worker at Staples. Couldn’t recall her name. and she was supposed to give me swimming lessons).  Or recalling an answer on Jeopardy (a show which I loathe but am forced to watch every night cuz of the fam). 

Another area of forgetfulness that I’ve blogged about is short term memory. Strauch says that its not that you’ve forgotten the information it’s that you can’t retrieve it. Again, I figured that out too, but so what.  She suggests when trying to recall someone’s name to go through the alphabet until you come to that letter and probably you’ll remember the name.  But that trick doesn’t work all the time. And I’m scared to think of how stupid I would look walking around my life reciting the alphabet under my breath. I’M SURE I WOULD FORGET WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR!

Another suggestion she offers is for remembering to take your medication.  Strauch suggests to visualizing yourself taking your medicine.  Ok. So when would I do that? Before I forget or afterwards? Two days later? Or the next time I remember to take it, do I visualize myself taking it two days later?  Riiiiiight.

To end on a positive note, Strauch presents lots of research that proves that our brains may forget things, but that we are better at using them for things like arguing, making financial decisions, judging someone’s character, etc. 

So if I find myself single and on the dating scene again, I may not remember mr. wonderful’s name but I may be able to suss out whether he’s a jerk or not. 

I still resent being called middle aged.

n.b. middle aged is described by the US Census (jerks) as between 35-44 and 45-54.  Erik Erikson (psychologist jerk) defines it at 40-65. Jerks.

Regarding Queen of Everything

Her highness is still queen of planet blortnick and also a MODEL.

10 comments to Wednesday, Wednesday, can’t trust that day…