Thursday, 2 June 2011

Oh Bear of Little Brain

Today is Oh Mary G of little brain day.  I am working on my daughter’s Mac since I am in the city looking after my granddaughter while her parents are at a conference.  I decided today that I wanted to download the photos from my camera so that I could use some of them in a post.  It took me far, far to long to figure out where the memory card slot is, what program I should be using, etc.  When I finally did get the thing set up, I could not find the photos in the folder where they should be.  After redoing the whole operation a lot of times, it finally occurred to me to look at the card in the camera and, surprise, I had cleaned it and there are no photos on it.  If that is not grade A stupidity, I do not know what else to call it.

I guess I have a much slower brain that I used to have.  At almost 70 years old, this should not surprise me or anyone else, but it is an extremely frustrating thing to live with.  Some aspects of it are neither new or surprising; the appearance of streets and parking garages and store fronts change and if you don’t see them often, the changes are confusing.  I remember trying to drive around Windsor, where I was born and raised, after living elsewhere for some years, and discovering that all my landmarks were gone or changed.  It meant treating my old home town like a place I had never been and using a map.  Pity there isn't a similar set of ‘maps’ for skills and devices that I don’t use too often.

Living with this aging brain is fascinating, in a weird sort of way.  Facts and skills that I need do not appear when I need them, but crop up later at the end of a range of associations that should not have produced them.  That’s not a good description, but it’s a hard thing to explain clearly.  Example.  Every time I change the blade in my razor, I get a Paul Anka tune for an earworm for some hours.  I have a Venus razor, the container for the new blade says ‘VENUS’ in big blue letters, and Anka wrote a song called ‘Venus’ back in the fifties (?) when my adolescent memory retained song lyrics after one or two hearings. Song lyrics that I do want to remember are in the gray cells somewhere, but  as much as I fish for them, there are no bites.  (bytes?)

Pity one can’t reload the wetware from disk when it corrupts.

The compensation is that in old age there is more leisure time, a lifetime’s worth of patience and tolerance learned and many rich memories that crop up in unexpected ways.  Although there are times I mourn my young, agile mind (and my young, agile knees for that matter), I would not trade what I have now for the uncertainties and frustrations of my teenaged self.

Last evening I watched as Little Stuff learned to do a tuck at her gymnastics class.   She was so happy, and having so much fun.  I wish I could gift her with a magic carpet to get her through the teen years with that joy intact.


  1. It's all true and scary at times. How many times do I reach for a word that I can't find, for example? We recently brought our bikes up from the basement, but in my mind I was picturing the bikes that we got rid of twenty years ago.

  2. hear, hear! and I would go along with that magic carpet ride through the teenage years :)

  3. Once a month I have to reconcile a transaction consisting of hundreds of items from a dozen different sources, and every month I struggle with getting it to balance because I only do it once a month. Grrr.

  4. Sometimes, at age 52 and a high school teacher, I think I just tend to be in too much of a hurry overall. I really overload my brain and become too impatient. Perhaps you are a bit impatient, too?

  5. I am getting hopeless with names and sometimes seem to find it hard to find the right word. Scary I think.
    Time goes more quickly now I'm older, too.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May