Just before I fell asleep last night, I wasn’t sure I would remember who I was in the morning, although that sounds a bit drastic, even for me to say.
That same day, I struggled with a longish short story I had written months previous. I thought it was well-written with a good plot until the last couple of pages, where I stumbled and couldn’t devise an appropriate ending. The story, set in a senior’s home, had to do with yellow tulips, which was kind of the punch line, but, even though I had “finished” it, I was not happy with the ending.
Last night in bed, I decided, against my better judgment, to ask Hubbie for his advice. I am always loathe to ask for his opinion (on anything), because he is so critical of me. But, I was desperate and thought another mind might help me develop a better ending. I began to tell him the gist of the story, when he butted in and said, “You told me about that story yesterday.”
“No, I didn’t,” I said.
“Yes, you did. It was a stupid story. About plastic tulips.”
“What?” I was stunned. I had no recollection that I had told him. His reference to “stupid” slipped right by me.
“When did I tell you about it?”
“Well, I don’t remember. Sometime yesterday,” he said.
“See, your memory is bad, too, if you can’t even remember when I told you,” I replied triumphantly.
“If I thought about it for awhile, I’d remember, but it’s not that important, is it?”
“Yes, it is,” I said. “It would help me remember that I told you about it. Was it in the afternoon when we were sitting on the front patio?”
As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I wished I could take them back. I knew I’d never hear the end of it. Whether the situation warranted it or not, he’d forever bring up my “bad memory” by reminding me of this episode.
Hubbie didn’t seem to clue in, though, and just said, “Yeah, probably.”
“Yes, okay, I remember now.”
But I didn’t really remember; the time and the location hadn’t jogged my memory like I had thought. I couldn’t let him know that, however.
Hubbie has a terrible memory himself, although he won’t admit it. He is forever telling me he has told me something when he hasn’t. Then he loves to throw it back at me and blame my memory, when I’m one hundred percent certain that he just plain and simple never told me whatever it was. Eventually, he realizes it, but will never own up to it. My memory has always been perfect, no question in my mind, and I’ve always prided myself on it. (Heck, I can remember every meal we’ve eaten at every restaurant we’ve ever been in over the past twelve years, not that I want to remember something as unimportant as that, but I just do.)
Yes, I’ve always prided myself on my great memory.
That was truly the first time I had done or said something I couldn’t remember later. I was stunned, scared, shocked.
Am I losing my mind? Have I already lost it? Is this a normal occurrence for my age? Was I in such a drunken stupor yesterday (didn’t think I drank that much) that I don’t remember the conversation? Am I drinking too much, period? Am I losing my brain cells; have I already lost them?
I drink too much vino blanco, and I know that too much alcohol kills off brain cells. Diet cola probably doesn’t help, and that is my caffeine fix every morning. I’m not that great an eater; oh sure, I eat, but not the right foods. I should eat more fruits and vegetables.
So, maybe it’s too late. Maybe my mind is already weaving down the wrong path.
Hubbie and I went to a talk last week on aging and learned four points to increase and maintain one’s brain cells:
- Eat blueberries
- Tax the brain (e.g. learn a new language)
I have already started my exercise regime. I’ve been walking briskly every morning for an hour during the past couple of months, which I’ve read will help my heart and increase my bone density. I eat blueberries on occasion, but will start eating them on a daily basis; I do love them, so that’s an easy add. I’ve been promising myself to learn Spanish for the past six years; now’s a perfect time to start, although Sudoku and writing should count for brain exercise, as well. However, meditation? Not sure I’m “into” that. Not even sure how to begin.
I know one becomes forgetful the older one gets. Forgetful, I can understand. I’ve had, what I think, have been “normal” instances of aging forgetfulness – like forgetting where I left my reading glasses, forgetting where I’ve saved work on my computer, forgetting why I entered a room – little, inconsequential things. But this? This was a conversation in broad daylight relating an important story I had written, a conversation that I absolutely could not remember no matter how hard I tried.
This was serious.
And I went to sleep scared shitless.