Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another Memory Story - No, Man. I'm Not Losing It

I recently asked my business partner, Meredith Bell, if she was going to post on YouTube an excellent video she had produced.

Her answer was: "You asked me about that yesterday."

Hmmm. I thought about that for a minute and then remembered that yes, I definitely had already talked to her about that.

But for a moment there I hadn't remembered it. So I wondered, as any pre-baby-boomer might, if maybe I'm starting to lose it upstairs. Becoming forgetful. Losing brainpower. Or worse.

Has a forgetful moment like that ever happened to you? It's enough to give you pause.

But I gave it more thought and realized that I had forgotten the conversation for a good reason.

Sometimes I think, "I should ask Meredith about this," and then I don't. I start doing other things and I get sidetracked and never ask. Or I do ask, and she gives a brief answer. But I'm quickly off to the next thing, so I never integrate the answer into long-term memory. So later, I may not remember if I actually asked her or just intended to. All of which is perfectly normal.

Also, I'm usually working on a lot of projects simultaneously. Sometimes I shift from project to project many times a day. So actually, a lot of mental water passes under the bridge in one day. I may do something and then later check whether I actually did it.

So I've ruled out dementia. When it comes to my brain cells, I'm using them a lot, so I'm probably not losing them.

With all the media attention given to Alzheimer's, it's possible to worry too much about forgetfulness. Most of time, nothing's wrong with your memory at all. I wrote about this in another blog post. You forget where you laid your car keys and you think, oh dear, I'm losing it. As I pointed out in that post, there are perfectly good reasons for forgetting where you laid you car keys. Check it out.

So, my friends, keep on using it, so you don't lose it. Feed that wonderful mind of yours. Confidently follow your passion, keep those nutrients flowing up to those neurons. The new knowledge and new skills you gain along the way will create new connections and new pathways.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength .

1 comment:

Sarcastic Bastard said...

The benefit to dementia would be that you'd forget to worry.

You are fine, Denny. Hell, I'm 45, and I forget stuff all the time. I put everything I really need to remember on a Post-It.