How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE

Where Was I?

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Sometimes my brain forgets I’m the one in charge. It wanders into side streets and alleys where we both become lost. It’s annoying and on occasion, unnerving.

One moment I’m relating a story to a friend—I won’t pretend my delivery is riveting, but my enthusiasm makes up for any lack of it—when Zap, I’m left blinking, disoriented. I’ve lost my place. But I am not alone, because you see, the chances are whomever I’m chatting with, is fluttering sparse eyelashes too. We look at each other, yet neither is able to pick up the thread of my eager tale. We laugh, but I wonder if this meandering brain taking side trips without me is okay.

An incident occurred many years ago, which gives me hope. My daughter, then around four years old, charged up the stairs to her bedroom. She had been playing quietly in the living-room while I washed dishes in the kitchen, close by. Impossible to ignore, I heard her abrupt one-foot-one-stair-gait up the stairs.

Then, silence. I waited. What was she up to, I thought as I stacked dried stoneware?

“Ma, what did I come up here for?”

I swallowed giggles choking me, but called up the stairs, struggling for breath, “I don’t know, sweetie. You didn’t tell me.”

If a four-year-olds brain can take a detour, then this brain of mine must still be in decent working order. I hope.

When I’ve lost my train of thought mid-sentence, I’m ashamed to say, it’s occurred to me at times, my friend has not been listening or giving me her full attention. I am miffed, but only for a second or two because I have been on the receiving end of her conversation also. We are not unlike.

Thank you Microsoft Clipart

Thank you Microsoft Clipart

“Where was I?”

“Ah…” We’re both lost.

Another branch off this road of forgetfulness is what I call Word Search. Never mind those books one buys by the same name where you look through a jumble of words lined up this way and that. They wait to be circled if you can find them without an inch-thick magnifying glass. Hm. Isn’t this exactly what’s going on in my head? Words poised this way and that; words wanting to make sense.

I sit telling another enthralling story, hanging off the edge of my chair, vibrating with words which tumble out with exuberance only to stop dead. “What is the word I’m looking for?” I snap my fingers, scratch my head and look beseechingly at my fellow coffee mate. Anyone watching might shake their head thinking we’re practicing a mind-reading act. Not that I have the energy to worry about the rest of the world.

“Uh. I snap my fingers, Eyes fluttering like moths. “What’s that word, you know the one—it’s a colour—like the sun…”

“Oh, you mean yellow?”

“Yeah, that’s it! Yes, yellow…where was I?”

Recently I experienced this tiresome mind jousting again, my body and brain left limp as a worn-out dishrag. (If you don’t believe me, wait til your turn comes.)

Do you know what it means to defrag your hard drive?

I propose this scenario. When thoughts are lost, gaps are created making room for new ones, but the new ones don’t fit this spare space recently freed up, and overflow willy-nilly somewhere, anywhere else. Is this why I lose my vein of thought because my thoughts become scattered? Are my thoughts fragmented because the new ones haven’t been filed together?

Is there some way to test a defragmentation on my hard disk? I wonder if the thought wedges might be rearranged, joined where they belong together, to resolve this wild roaming into the blind alleys of my gray matter.

A person can’t help thinking about snaking and twisting…

“Where was I?”

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Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

39 thoughts on “Where Was I?

  1. This is why time between my posts have been longer and longer…I capture everything I want to write on my commute, but then I sit down to blog and the essence is lost. You have captured evasiveness perfectly here!

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    • I understand so well kb. I have a spiral bound notebook I use for everything. If I have an idea for a post, I scribble it in as well as notes to myself of lists of things to get done. The trouble is, I misplace it sometimes. Will this ever stop? Haha.

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  2. It’s the funniest thing, Tess. I was just on the phone to a male friend of mine who is about 50 and he lost his train of thought three times in the space of a 30 minute conversation. I think it’s because we have a tendency to focus on preparing for what to say next before we have finished what we are then saying.

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    • Yes, Jay. I think we have way too much going on nowadays. Always juggling and you’re right. I do believe we are always processing what we’ll say next. That’s a great thought–that we process before we speak, something no-one thinks about consciously. Maybe instead of a defrag what I need is a new ‘chip’ or ‘processer’. Haha.

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  3. When you find out how to do the de-frag please let me know because my hard drive is in urgent need of it too! my technique is to just leave it and talk about something else because then it comes back quicker – slightly ahead of the next ‘program is not responding’.
    Now where was I?

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    • Yes, Gilly. Even when the person you’re talking with understands, this situation makes me feel stupid and I agree changing the subject is the answer. Funny how the answer comes back to you in the middle of another sentence. Must do further research on defrag…haha.

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  4. I do that all the time, Tess. And I’m guilty of losing the thread as soon as the person who is relaying their tale to me loses theirs as well – although up until that point I was with them, every step of the way. It’s comical, baffling and slightly worrying at the same time… but the worry doesn’t last too long as we forget about it when we move on to something else! 😉
    Have a good weekend, Tess!

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  5. Tess, Gill and I do this all the time! I know my excuse is old age…not sure about Gill’s…

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  6. I do this too, I think it’s because I get easily distracted so something I’ll say will lead my mind off to think about something else and then this vague look crosses my face as I try and remember what I was actually supposed to be saying! I’ve always been a bit like that, I assume it will get worse when I get older!

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    • It’s a cross to bear, alright, Vanessa. I guess we are all somewhat distracted in one way or another. So long as that’s all it is. Multi-tasking and information overload don’t help either. Nice to see you, Vanessa.

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  7. Great post and really well written, and yes, I relate to this very well. A little story to share back that this reminded me of. One of us, (‘tween me and my hubby) left a burner on all night with nothing on top of it. We separately found it and thought the other did it! Ready to aim our spleens at each other we started laughing because we couldn’t fight over who almost burned the place down when we both decided to be honest that we weren’t sure…brain freeze that time was most helpful. Thankfully, I’m alive to tell this one. Have a good weekend. Paulette

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    • This is so funny, Paulette. I’m glad the ending didn’t require the fire department.
      I have to admit I did this a week or two ago. Left the gas burner on after boiling eggs. Thank goodness it was turned down to the lowest setting. I don’t know how I finally discovered this no-no. I must be more careful.

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  8. I am finding, since I moved here, I am also looking for simple words. Think it is the lack of mental stimulation…or something.

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    • I imagine mental stimulation helps but sometimes OVER stimulation might be the culprit. Sometimes I have too much on my mind so the ‘sponge is waterlogged’. Hope you’ve made friends since you moved, though. Someone to have coffee with etc. 47?

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  9. it happens to me too Tess 😉
    I don’t think you’re alone in this at all!!

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  10. Oh Tess, this is gorgeous!!! I absolutely love your honesty and searching quality! It is open and engaging! I think … that when we lose our train of thought it is frustrating but it also takes us out of the intellectual ( which many of us, especially me, can be so proud of) and into beingness! Just being. Which is so much sweeter. I think as long as we have grey matter though the playful challenge could be to have both …:)

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  11. I answered my office phone the other day with my maiden name. I have been married 21 years. I wonder where that came from?

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    • Ha ha. A couple of years ago I was making out a cheque and signed my married last name, which I haven’t used since my daughter got married 15 years ago. Why can’t we just defrag? I don’t know where that comes from either. Nice to see you, Nancy.

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  12. You are not alone in the vast…whatever the word is for that place.

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  13. I think sleep was supposed to knit up the raveled sleeve of care…So maybe it’s also good for defragmentation?

    I’m always getting the “what did I come here for”, and routinely go back to where I started. I once read that going through a door is basically a mini-mindwipe, and I’m putting it down to that 🙂

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  14. Oh, Tess if you find the button for that defrag will you pass it on, please. I find myself doing this quite often. I am grateful, I am not alone.

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  15. How often do I find myself in a flagrantly forgetful fog? The fact that fibromyalgia adds to the likelihood of me losing my train of thought does not help the normal forgetfulness issues. Current brain mapping research says the more we continue to learn new things as we grow older, the less likely we are to suffer the early onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease; and that we will have more mobility and memory fluidity in our golden years. As much as I forget stuff now, I had better keep learning new things INTO my golden years.

    Elizabeth Rising Early, 31 Days

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  16. I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but the detours are a form of seizure. They are common, exacerbated with stimulation and occur with increased frequency based on our diet and environment.
    xxx
    (Yet another piece of the vast excruciating minutia I keep around for just such occasions.)

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  17. Great post Tess. I’m glad it’s just not me!

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  18. so funny, this aging…love your blog…I’m so there!

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  19. I so wish you could defrag your brain! I suffer from all these things and more..brain freeze, for instance? Where you’re in the middle of something, full flow, and then for a couple of seconds you just completely jump off the tracks.

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  20. “Words wanting to make sense.” I love this! Great post, Tess.

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Some things in life are complicated. Let's keep it simple.

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