Am I Crazy, or Just Old?

Why is it that I can’t seem to complete a thought anymore? Is it the early onset of Alzheimer’s, or some other debilitating form of dementia? Or am I simply reacting to the stress of everyday life by tuning it out? (Not a bad idea, all in all…)

Nah. It’s just part of the normal aging process. We forget things mid-sentence, and often have to stop and ask a friend “What were we talking about?” before responding.

My husband often teases me that I have way too much “stuff” in my brain. I am the queen of trivial knowledge, and can pull up facts that 99.99% of people would have forgotten years ago. Perhaps it is that the filters in my mind are not working properly, or that they are missing completely. Thus, I know who Skeeter Davis is, I know all the words to 1300 songs from the 60’s and I can tell you my 7th grade best friend’s birthday and telephone number. I can recite the words to favorite movies before the actors do, and I can tell you what Archie Bunker said to Edith when she hit a car with a can of cling peaches, or what he told her to do about menopause.
So why can’t I remember the word for a sandwich that is flattened on the grill…. you know… um, not a grilled sandwich, um….. what the heck is it called????

Panini! (Phew! I was getting worried there. It’s hard to google something when you can’t remember what it’s called.)

And I have forgotten more passwords and user names than I remember, and need to put them in a little book that I carry everywhere. Without a list, I wander around the supermarket in a daze. Today, I stood in front of a copier I have been using for 10 years, and could not for the life of me remember the user code.

Am I destined to be one of those little old ladies who walks around muttering to herself about people who died long ago? Aw, shucks, I hope not.

I play games and do puzzles to keep my mind sharp, as recommended by all the experts. I meditate to relieve the pressures of everyday life. I eat properly, pay my bills on time, and obey (most) traffic laws. I do all the right things, so what is the problem? Why is my mind betraying me?

Do you know…..

Wait a minute… what was I just talking about?


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21 Responses to “Am I Crazy, or Just Old?”

  1. Clare Stella Says:

    Anyone who writes as well as you do cannot possibly have any mental deficiencies. I think that as we get older we remember what we want to remember far more than we remember what we should remember. It’s all good.

  2. Bobby Goat GRUFF! Says:

    This morning I saw my friend (the one I call Alice) in the parking lot. Friday she’d asked me to come home with her but I’d declined on grounds that I can’t remember.

    I want her oven. She wants to give me her oven. All that is agreed upon. I asked her to bring me her oven. I asked her to bring it on Friday. She forgot. I phoned her and asked her to bring it to me the morning (Monday). She forgot. When I saw her this morning, I was pleased to see her. Did you think it was because I was hoping she brought her oven? No. I had forgotten about wanting it. I like her so I was happy to see her. She saw me and remembered that she’d forgotten to bring her oven. Maybe tomorrow.

    I think there might have been a point to all of this.

    Oh yeah. I’m not old. At least, I don’t think I am. I can’t remember turning old. So, I must not be.

  3. thelittlefluffycat Says:

    Dave Barry says that because of the advent of the Golden Oldies stations, we will never be old. I agree.

    TheOtherIvy had something wondering about this the other day, and since I was particularly brilliant there I will reiterate–everything is very twinkly just now. Including our brains.

  4. nanis Says:

    “I think that as we get older we remember what we want to remember far more than we remember what we should remember.”
    What a lovely comment! I’d use this later, but I’m sure I will forget.

    Bobby, I love that tale! You should write it up as a post.

    Oh, Fluffy-one, you are indeed brilliant. I love when things get twinkly!

  5. Bobby Goat GRUFF! Says:

    Thanks. Perhaps if I ever do get the oven and it doesn’t work I’ll write it up. Then again, since “Alice” does read my blog, I’m sort of wondering. It might bore her to read a tale involving her. It might not. She liked when I recounted our conversation about chocolate. I wish I’d had the presence of mind to blog the conversation where she asked me to come home with her. That was a funny conversation — mainly due to the sociopath who kept interfering with it.

  6. nanis Says:

    Sometimes the everyday anecdotes do make the best writing, don’t they….

  7. Shawn W Says:

    I forgot what my comment was going to be. 😛

  8. Ina Says:

    A couple of weeks ago at work, my favorite psychiatrist that I’ve worked with for a bazillion years took me aside to tell me that he’d just been staring at me for the longest time and couldn’t remember my name.

    You’re okay. It’s happening to all of us right now.

  9. jojovtx1800 Says:

    I’d suggest memory pills, but you’d prolly forget to take them. 🙂
    Oh well, at least each day is a new adventure, and you constantly get to meet new people.

  10. nanis Says:

    HAH! I hadn’t thought of that.

  11. Corina Says:

    I know the feeling. I forget what I’m typing mid-sentence! My girls laugh at me and I tell them “just wait!”

  12. tigereye Says:

    Well, feel old no longer — I’m in my 30s and already experiencing this in full swing. I’ve been warned that it’s a side effect to a particular medication, but that doesn’t make me feel any less like my brain has accumulated a furry layer of dust.
    I can still remember all the lyrics to “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” though, so it can’t be all that bad…

  13. nanis Says:

    Why is it that lyrics to songs are so much easier to remember than why you went to the supermarket?

  14. Bobby Goat GRUFF! Says:

    I’m not so sure about that with the lyrics.

    Just this morning, I thought I’d have fun playing a three chord song: Mr. Tambourine Man. (OK. It has four chords but whatever…I figured that out pretty quickly). I know that song. I know the lyrics. Sort of. I got about half way through the first verse and realized that Bob is smart singing the way he does. You can’t make out the lyrics very well which means you can sing them totally wrong and people won’t notice.

    Of course, I also don’t remember why I went into the kitchen. Yesterday, I found myself standing there wondering why I’d gone there and I realized it was ’cause I had to pee. You’d think I’d have remembered which room to go to and wouldn’t forget about having to pee. OK. No. Nobody would think that. I just wish it were the case.

  15. Bobby Goat GRUFF! Says:

    Why is it that I can remember forgetting stuff but I can’t remember the stuff that I forgot?

  16. tigereye Says:

    I don’t know what it is about lyrics, but I’m always surprised when I remember all the verses to “Silent Night” at candlelight communion every Christmas Eve. I did it again. Then I left the church and couldn’t remember where I’d parked…

  17. nanis Says:

    Hah! I have enjoyed hearing all your stories, and am glad it’s not just me.

  18. TheOtherIvy Says:

    I have started thinking that I could go ahead and just start rereading the books I already have as details seem to have sifted out of my memory. Now I feel that my lifelong attentional inconsistencies are serving me well as I age…forgetting what I was saying midsentence is not unfamiliar. As long as I don’t transform into the kind of age that involves a litany of infirmities and all of the sticky details.

  19. nanis Says:

    Ah. the “litany of infirmities”…. No… don’t wanna do that….

  20. Stevo Says:

    Nanis: I didn’t know you had a blog. Shame on me. It will be good to read you again. Excellent post, I’m similarly afflicted. I can name television shows and entire casts from the 80s but not remember a phone number (in fact, it took 10 months to memorize my current cell number).

  21. nanis Says:

    You know your cell phone number????

    Stevo , it’s good to hear from you. My blog is not all that active (so many sites, so little time…) but I want to try to read yours as well.

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