My Aging Mind

I keep denying that I have any problem remembering stuff. At least I think I can claim that I don’t have any real problems that way. My mind has only wandered away a few times, leaving me standing in front of the refrigerator to wonder why I was there. Did I even want to get something to eat? Probably not, as the sight of all that food didn’t trigger my appetite.

The mind is a wonderful thing; our ability to think and reason and deal with our emotions is much more who and what we are than is the work we do, And yet, so many things interfere with that ability. Emotional upsets can leave us spinning in our tracks. It is a truism; you should not make important decisions when you are under stress, and yet we are invariably stressed out when we have to make important decisions.

If we are over-tired, our minds tend to try to take us anywhere, except to the task we need to get done. I set myself up in my favorite chair, with a cushion at my back, and a light; one of those old fashioned bulbs that we used to take for granted, as they are the only ones that work in my three-way lamps, and attempt to concentrate. Sometimes I really do manage to to that. And other times, I wind up in front of the computer, playing a game of solitaire. I play solitaire only because I am stressed and cannot concentrate on the job I need to get done. I just know that after an hour or two of playing computer games I will feel a whole lot better. Right.

There are times when attempting to discipline myself to concentrate on a task for more than a few moments yields nothing. I believe this syndrome is a very common defense against burnout. As we all know, an over-abundance of a given task, with no let-up, can make us go bonkers, ready to hide in the closet and chew on our shoes, if we have to do that task even one more time. Regular intervals of rest and renewal, followed by concentrated work, are wonderful, when your schedule permits you to balance your time that way.

The old saying, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, was common up through the 1920s. It had to do with that tendency to keep children busy with school work and chores, never permitting them time to play. Even then, people recognized that play is essential to healthy children. By the 1940s, that saying was shortened, and became the saying of workaholics, All work and no play makes Jack. Jack being money.

And yet, especially when building a business, and I am doing this during the third trimester of my life, we need to remember to balance work with recreation. To make time to be with friends, as this is most important to maintain sanity, as well as clarity of mind.

And what about memory loss? Is the fact that I could not maintain that subject throughout this essay a sign that my mind is aging, or is it merely a sign of fatigue — lack of sleep, coupled with too many things to think about?

You see, the changes an older mind experiences are subtle, and possibly affected by our expectations. Being nervous and upset can make it hard to remember my own name, let alone something I never gave much thought to.

On the other hand, anger sharpens the intellect. Oh, the snide remarks I think of when I am angry. They wouldn’t even occur to me when I am at peace with the world. It almost makes me feel as though it would pay to be angry most of the time. However, I can seldom maintain my anger, as it has become too easy to laugh over situations that could be quite annoying. Sooner or later, all those upsetting situations strike me as being ridiculous, and then it’s over; I start laughing. I suppose I should chalk that up to being another sign of senility.

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About Genevieve

Genevieve is a ghostwriter, specializing in memoirs, biographies and novels for her clients, since 2002. She loves her work, Her blog is a hodge podge of whatever happens to be on her mind when she sits down to write. Her essays may be about anything from family life, to politics, to good grammar. Come read it at and leave a message.
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