Old Timers Disease

I got an email from a long time friend of mine regarding something we were going to work on together that ‘fell through the cracks’ so to speak. He posed the question of me, as I am about 1 whole year older than he is, if memory loss is something that happens around 60. After I replied, he suggested I turn it into a blog post, and so…

I have noticed a gradual increase in my absent mindedness over the years. This isn’t something that’s easy to quantify, though. Memory isn’t just one thing. My grandmother could tell me in great detail about her childhood in the late 1800s (amazing in itself) but was hazy on what happened days or even hours ago. My own memory can perform some pretty amazing feats, such as remembering lyrics to songs I haven’t heard in the last 40 years while at the same time walking into the kitchen and not having the foggiest notion WHY I’m there. It’s comforting to know that most people do the same thing from time to time.

Still, I can’t escape the feeling that I am forgetting more and enjoying it less. I ask myself if it’s diminished capacity, and to some extent it must be. But it occurs to me that I didn’t have nearly as much stuff to remember when I was a youngster. I don’t mean simply that I had fewer years on the planet, I mean that my life was simply a lot less cluttered. If I look at my life at the age of say 15, what all did I have to keep track of? There were about 4 or 5 television channels, a couple of radio stations I could get on my old tube set plus whatever was in the afternoon Sacramento Bee. I had school assignments (which I attended to halfheartedly), minimal chores and a handful of friends.

Fast forward to this-here modern day digital world. Instead of helping me keep track of things, my computer seems to be giving me more and more things to forget. We used to only have to worry about people we came face to face with, now we have people and things happening all over the world that we can lose track of. I’m actually thrilled to be able to reconnect with all kinds of people I lost touch with over the years, just for one example, but NOW I have a bunch more people that may be waiting for an answer to some question or message that totally slipped my mind. Back in the dark ages (before the microchip) people only had to keep track of people they came face to face with. Ah, but not now!

So while I admit that I’m losing a little bit of the old brainpower I once had, I’m asking the poor beast to do a lot more than it ever used to have to do. I think we folks of a certain age should cut ourselves some slack if we aren’t quite able to keep up with the flood of things we are supposed to keep track of. The younger generation(s) may be able to do a better job of it. Ah, but can they remember the words to ‘Little Egypt?’

My dad always told me getting old was for the birds, and it’s just one more thing he was right about.

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  1. I'm sorry, but I've forgotten who you are and why I'm posting this reply. Growing old IS NOT for pussies.

  2. If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself! By the way……..well I bought myself a ticket and I sat down in the very first row. Yes I too remember the words to Little Egypt!

  3. Hmmmmmm, that reminds me…………………………………oh shit, there it goes again! Did you say something?