Hold on now. Calm down. This is not a chauvinistic comment/headline. Actually I was dickering about using “Sleeping, with Previous Dates in Mind.” Notice the comma. How about: Let’s eat Grandma OR Let’s eat, Grandma. See, punctuation saves lives. I now realize that funny, sexy titles attract larger readership, but I do have another reason to use either of those two headlines.
Two of my major current concerns may be because of the creeping ravages of the aging process. One concern that I surreptitiously alluded to, is trying to occupy my mind by remembering old pleasant things in order to fall asleep. The other one is fear of Alzheimer, but I’ll get back to that concern later.
To fall asleep, either initially or from a bathroom break, I have a list of several thing to recall and have been able to doze off in fairly fast order. I think of old sporting events; inning by inning, quarter by quarter, set by set, round by round and drift off before the end of the event. I can recall those old things, but don’t ask me what I had for breakfast today.
I became single again about a dozen years ago and now, since I’m starting to have a little bit of trouble recalling the sporting events, I try to remember everything about who I dated over the last dozen years. This is where the title of this Blog comes in, trying to remember the details, but every once in awhile, I think waaaaay back to my teen-age years in Brooklyn.
My Father developed pictures for Drug and Department Stores, and my family lived above the store. I started dipping and dunking enlargements in their sequential trays of solutions when I was about 8. This was not child labor, I enjoyed doing it, yet still had plenty of time to play street games with my friends. Several years later, Dad began doing well so the family moved into a two family house three streets away, (we called them blocks.) Those three short blocks made a huge difference. We lived upstairs and rented the ground floor apartment to another family, (I think I overheard my parents once crow that we lived rent-free). We also had a full basement with a side entrance and I had the key. No boys on the block, only 6 girls about my age, 14 and 15. No more stickball, punchball, street football, (go behind the gray Chevy, I’ll fake it to you), stoopball, boxball, and other various street games that kept me and the guys busy. But now there were no guys around, only girls.
Now that’s schools over, I planned to walk back to see my old friends and maybe even develop a few enlargement to help out in the photo shop. I was all ready to go until I went down to check out my basement playroom and reveled in that fact that it had a new Ping-Pong table and new sofa. I left the front door open and began cleaning it up. My new neighbors, (the girls), began drifting in to introduce themselves and I knew right then, that I would never play punchball again. But I got to be very good at Ping Pong and…… use your imagination, I don’t kiss and tell.. Even before the phrase was invented, I became their “boy toy” to experiment with. My guy friends must have thought I must have fallen off the end of the Earth, well if the place off the end of the Earth is called Paradise, that’s where I was.
Occasionally during the last couple of decades, my mind drifted back and I thought of the details of my Brooklyn basement memories, but all in all, I always had things to enable me to fall asleep.
My other concern is my apparent loss of memory. I considered myself blessed to have a good memory. I always could recall; sports statistics, lyrics to popular (and also not so popular music), peoples names, I memorized possible answers for school tests, jokes with the proper punch line, and very often esoteric names of things that no one cared about. My long term memory is still better than most of the people my age, but the short term memory is a concern. I read an interesting article a while back where the author claimed that having a monologue with yourself will solve many short memory loss problems. He claimed that you have to create a running story of exactly what you are doing all the time, for example…(This is you talking to yourself).” I am now walking into my closet with my sunglasses in my hand looking for a shirt. O.K. now I am putting down the glasses on the pile of shirts with a yellow shirt on top of the pile. I changed into this blue striped shirt and I’m leaving for the mall.” Well, you leave the closet and go to your car and “O.K. now where are my sunglasses?” Rewind your memory activity log and you’ll recall your recent conversation with yourself remembering that you put the sunglasses on the yellow stack of shirts in the closet. The major advantage of this method is that you have SOMETHING to remember. It does work.
Check with your Doctor and Pharmacist about the drugs you are taking. Some drugs, like very popular Statin drugs may have a potential side effect of advancing Alzheimer’s.
Finally, this is a recent theory being promulgated by German researchers, scientists and practitioners of common sense. They all now claim that older people can be slower to recall facts, or learn new information because their brains are stuffed with accumulated knowledge, and not because of cognitive decline. “The brains of older people do not get weak, on the contrary, they simply know more,”
It makes perfect sense to me. Consider the enormous volume of data that I and many seniors have stored between our ears. Just thinking back to the earlier part of this blog I recalled the names of my guy friends (from 60 years ago) that I left behind for my girl playmates. (I remember many details about them as well). When you add all the statistics involved with the sports trivia I have remembered all these many years, plus thousands of song lyrics, places and names of people I have known over my lifetime, including the recent three self-help books I’ve written, more than 50 blogs and hundreds of tweets and hundreds of new LinkedIn friends I promised to give books to for review, plus what seems like a gazillion other memories, have all contributed to the volume of previous data stored upstairs.The plots of thousands of novels, sitcoms, Broadway Shows, films I’ve remembered, real stars and their characters names are all filed away in my brain. Add these to listening, watching or reading about the news of the day, multiplied by every day since I was interested in the world and local news from about 12 years of age. They cumulatively have created so many impressions that I can’t possible guess how many there were in storage.
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