My Mind Forgets…But My Body Remembers

PC Memory Card (photo credit: Wikimedia)

My computer and I are dealing with the same problem.

Memory loss.

I turned 49 last week. I’d like to believe I’m 39 but my body sometimes makes me feel like I’m 59.  It’s starting to creak and crack.  And then, there’s my brain.  It keeps playing tricks on me. Yes, I sometimes rack my brain to remember where I left my wallet in the house. Or someone will tell me about something we discussed but I have no recollection of the conversation. The great news is there’s a very creative phase I’m in the midst of. My brain waves are constantly thinking of new ways to drive business. But being so focused causes me to sometimes miss small details.  

Brain and memory

However, I CAN tell you when I purchased my current computer.  It was in March of 2003 because it arrived a day or so after I returned from Italy on the 21st.  So it’s over eight years old and beginning to show its age.  I can’t have too many applications running at one time.  Plus, a little box pops up occasionally warning me about low virtual memory. 

There’s nothing in my system to warn me when my memory isn’t working right.  No pop ups.  No computer beeps.  Just the thought in my head…”oops, I forgot” or “hmm, I can’t remember”.

Marilu Henner never forgets about you

Recently, I saw actress Marilu Henner on TV talking about her memory.  She is one of 6 people with hyperthymesia or superior autobiographical memory.  The others include a violinist and a radio anchor.  But all six of these individuals are able to remember every day of their lives.  Marilu was impressive.  She could remember when she purchased or last wore a pair of shoes.  On another show, she was able to tell Barbara Walters what she wore to a wedding and what they talked about. 

For a brief moment, as I listened to her, I wished I had this ability.  But I have my own unique ability.  At least to me it is.  Mine has to do with things I love.  Movies, meals, and friends.

Remember this scene from The Color Purple (photo credit: sidesalad.net)

Most people know I love movies.  If I watch or see a movie that really affects me, I usually remember who I saw it with.  And sometimes I remember the theatre or something about the theatre.  For instance, I remember the first time I saw The Color Purple.  I actually saw it four times in 1985 but the first was the most memorable.  My twin-brother-from-another-mother, Jhon Patrick Harmon, was with me at the old Glenwood Theater on Metcalf.  We were in theatre #2, I think, because it was off to the right.  And I liked the Glenwood because they had nice seats and you could walk the row without stepping on someone’s toes.  And we were either on the last or next to last row. 

Memories of the old Glenwood (photo credit:cinematreasures.org)

My friends, Leah and Aaron, were with me for 2 movies.  We saw The Mummy on opening day, I believe, and they had returned to Kansas City from a trip.  I don’t remember the theater but we were sitting off to the right facing the screen.  We also The Sixth Sense together.  This time, we were seated off to the left.  And there was a couple behind us who whispered throughout the WHOLE film – it was like they picked the theater to have a conversation about their relationship.  I also remember the loud gasp as everyone realized the “secret” of the film. 

If it’s a memorable meal, I usually remember it.  My first exposure to Avenue Bistro was with a couple from work, Clint and Adrienne.  We sat in a booth towards the back of the restaurant.  We started with the Pomme Frites and they arrived on a metal, tiered serving tower.  Adrienne ordered a wine flight.  And if I remember correctly, either Clint or Adrienne had the Steak and Cake and I had the Lobster and Crab Cakes.  And I think there was a Lobster Mac and Cheese in there somewhere.  I’ve eaten there 2 other times – and I can remember who was there, what we ate and where we sat.

A wonderful dish from Avenues Bistro in Brookside (photo credit: Avenues Bistro)

The last area has to do with friends.  Anyone who is going to become important in my life usually leaves an impression at first meeting.  The thing that usually leaves the impression is something visual…a seersucker suit of a short hairstyle.  With one or two people, I can’t remember when we first met.  What I do recall is the moment when I realized we were friends for a reason and not just a season.   

Aaron and Leah, friends I'll never forget

They say you can do exercises to increase your memory and improve your mind.  Yesterday, I felt I had sufficiently recovered from my recent cold so I decided to do some Wii Fit Plus.  After completing the body test, my Wii Fit Plus informed me my Wii age was 21!  I did well on both the memory and agility tests.  Then, last night, I happened to come across Lumosity.  It is a brain training website that is engineered to train and improve memory, attention, processing speed, and cognitive control.  I signed up for the Basic Training program.  So far, on day two, my memory is measuring at 93%.  Guess it ain’t so bad after all. 

A trial membership at Lumosity.com might help me to remember things I keep forgetting.

As I was turning over in bed this morning, I felt some pain in my right hip and I didn’t know why.  Then it occurred to me.  I had not used the Wii Fit in 10 days.  My body was reminding me about my fall on Saturday, January 8th.  I either strained a groin muscle or  impacted my right hip bone while stepping on my friend Becky’s front porch.  I didn’t raise my leg up far enough so my right foot tripped.  Then, I felt a sharp pain as I was falling forward onto the cement surface of her porch.  I could barely walk for two days after the fall.  And sleeping was the worst – I could only sleep on my left side, with my right leg propped on top the left, and a pillow placed against my back so I wouldn’t roll onto my back. 

So even though I felt well enough to return to the Wii, my hip bone decide to remind me why I took a break. 

Yeah, thanks for the painful reminder.  Speaking of pain, I need to work on that computer memory problem too.

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