Aging + Forgetfulness + Traveling In Place
This morning I’ve been thinking about aging and forgetfulness. The day began with Steve calling me, somewhat confused because he couldn’t find his car keys to go work out at the YMCA.
Yesterday, after spending the entire day at the University of Tulsa volunteering for the blood drive, he came home, got my keys, and checked our mail. The mailboxes are just outside my front door.
He brought my mail inside, which is almost always stuff that goes in the trash because I pay my bills online, and went home.
So after he called, I wandered around my apartment looking for his keys. Luckily, I found them almost right away. They were on top of the mail I hadn’t even glanced at yet.
I don’t keep my mailbox key separate or I would probably lose it. He’s been lucky so far because he does keep his mailbox key in another place.
As I get older, I know that I am more forgetful. And confused and turned around, as my granny would say.
This is the main reason I don’t carry cash around with me. Because I tend to lose it. It’s safer for me to just use a card.
For some reason, I haven’t lost the credit card. Yet, anyway. And that’s a miracle in and of itself.
Although now that I think about it, I recall that I did once leave it at the grocery store a few years ago. And went into a panic because I wasn’t sure exactly where I lost it.
It was right there at the store, with the woman who had checked out my groceries, and I immediately calmed down.
The crisis was averted once again.
Confusion & Forgetfulness:
That’s another thing about aging. Once I get rattled, another thing my granny would say, it takes me longer to settle down.
So, you may ask, is forgetfulness just part of aging?
Forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging. As people get older, changes occur in all parts of the body, including the brain.
As a result, some people may notice that it takes longer to learn new things, they don’t remember information as well as they did, or they lose things like their glasses.
How often do you walk around your home looking for your reading glasses, and they’re right there on top of your head?
At what age does cognitive decline begin? This might surprise you.
The brain’s capacity for memory, reasoning and comprehension skills (cognitive function) can start to deteriorate from age 45.
That may be why Kendra is forgetting things so often now. And lamenting about it to me. Or it could be the stress she’s always under trying to get houses renovated and on the market.
Lapses in memory can certainly be frustrating. But most of the time they are not cause for concern. Age-related memory changes are not the same thing as dementia.
As you grow older, you will experience physiological changes that can cause glitches in brain functions.
It takes longer to learn and recall information. You’re not as quick as you used to be. It’s as simple as that.
When memory loss becomes so pervasive and severe that it disrupts your life, you could be experiencing the warning signs of Alzheimer’s, or another disorder that causes dementia. Or it could be a condition that simply mimics dementia.
But don’t jump to that conclusion simply because you find yourself forgetting things.
Oh, and how about all the people who walk around carrying their cell phones in their hands? How many of you do that? If I go out, I carry mine in my handbag.
But if I did carry it in my hand, I’d probably misplace it every other day. I just know I would because I try to multitask all the time. And sometimes my brain does not keep pace with my movements.
Anything not attached to my body, like my head, often inadvertently gets lost. And I’m running around looking for it like a chicken with its head cut off. (Another of my granny’s sayings.)
It’s kind of like a record on the record player that gets stuck in one place and repeats itself over and over.
I get stuck feeling apprehensive and I can’t get the needle moved back into its rightful place.
Aging & Going On Vacations:
Also, Steve could be apprehensive about his trip. He and his son are going on a vacation in a few weeks. They are flying, and there’s all this talk about problems at the airport.
I told him I wouldn’t fly anywhere for a million bucks.
You know, I never liked flying. Well, it’s not the flying that gets me. It’s all the chaos before you get on the plane that does me in.
I get confused easily enough. A trip to the airport is high on my list of “don’t do’s.”
Traveling probably doesn’t upset most people. They probably find it fun and exciting.
But I don’t like going places overnight, and my uneasiness builds up for weeks before the event actually occurs. I don’t like sleeping anywhere but in my own bed.
A vacation for me is not what a vacation should be. It’s more of a nightmare.
New place, a different bed, and certainly not my usual routine.
Routine grounds me. It keeps my head on straight. Well, as straight as it will ever be.
A blogger I know, Amy, wrote last week about this group on Facebook that I joined but haven’t given much attention to yet. Her blog is Ms. Toody Goo Shoes.
I know she’s probably told the story of why her blog came to have that name. But of course, I’ve forgotten it!
Anyway, her post was called View From My Window: A Different Way To See The World. Amy often writes about travel. Now, this kind of travel I can get behind!
In Amy’s Own Words:
View From My Window is a public group on Facebook. Anyone can join, pending approval by the administrators.
The group began on March 23, 2020, by Barbara Duriau, a resident of Amsterdam,
just after the Coronavirus pandemic caused the entire world to enter lock-down mode.
Her thought was to connect ordinary people by sharing pictures of views from their homes during this global isolation.
“From backstreets to boulevards, parking lots to snow-covered mountains, muddy puddles to pristine lakes. From the mundane to the glorious, VFMW is just someone’s little corner of our world.“
The idea is a simple one. Just take a photo from your window and share it with the other members.
It could be someplace fancy and exotic, or a clothesline in someone’s backyard. Or a view from a yard, a porch, or a terrace. Wherever your boundaries were while isolating.
That day, Amy actually had a lot of possible contenders for adding a photo on the group. She lives in a beautiful condo by the ocean. And she has a home in New Jersey with the prettiest landscaping.
Go take a look at the photos she was thinking about using. Every one of them are gorgeous.
The Idea Was A Huge Hit:
Barbara Duriau’s idea was an immediate hit. One week after she started this Facebook group, 50,000 people joined. Ten days later, membership skyrocketed to two million people!
All who joined were isolated in their homes during the pandemic, yearning to go out and about. They were people from all over the world wanting to connect with other people and travel to other places.
And what a wonderful way to travel! Right from your comfy chair, you can see the whole wide world. No airlines, no lost luggage, no confusion!
As Dr. Seuss said in one of the most popular Dr. Seuss books of all time: “Oh, all the places you’ll go!”
So if you want to travel the same way, via the internet, go check this group out.
Just think, you may be seeing Budapest this very afternoon. Or any place else you’ve wanted to visit and haven’t been able to.
I find myself writing more and more about aging. If you want to read more of my posts on this topic, click here.
So Brenda, there’s this YouTube channel called Prowalk that takes the viewer on 45 minute to1 hour strolls through some of the most gorgeous places in Europe. They have close caption if you want info as the walk goes on, but I leave it off and just enjoy the surrounding sounds of life in the locale we’re ‘touring’. It is AMAZING-the pace of the walk with the camera work feels so REAL, as ifI’m walking myself through these lovely places. You should check it out. Delightful! The Italian Riviera walks are my favorite.
I loved the view from my window! What a great idea, and so many wonderful pictures! I tend to go into stress mode when I travel too, especially if it’s a long car drive and we have to wake up early. That will, of course, be the night I have trouble falling asleep. And I’m fairly organized. I have a long list of to do things to get ready to travel. Things like packing medicines, take out cash, notify the bank we are traveling so my Visa doesn’t get rejected somewhere, have my mail held, make sure I have all my chargers, etc… The list is long, but it does keep me organized. Even with that, I still stress. And while I always enjoy myself once I’m there, I try to keep all my things in one place and stay organized, as opposed to leaving my stuff all over someone’s house or a hotel room. It’s funny how everyone is so different. Memory loss is a scary thing! You never know if what you are experiencing is just normal, age related stuff, or if there’s an underlying medical condition. Always better to error on the side of caution and go get checked out by your doctor. God bless all the doctors and care givers in this world, doing what they can to make people comfortable!
I lose my glasses so many times each day! I don’t wear them all of the time at home because I am more comfortable reading, working on my computer, and using my iPad and phone without glasses. I have certain places in certain rooms where I keep them, but when I am in a hurry to drive somewhere, I have to check each of those places and sometimes beyond when I have left them in new spots! I think about putting an Apple tile on them so I can track them!
I agree with you on the stress of airline travel, but I bet you’d agree with me on this: one million bucks donated to worthy animal welfare groups if we flew one more time. I think we’d both beat it to that airport!
You’re probably right about that!
I forget things or lose things from time to time (just turned 60) and it drives me nuts. I’ve even gotten to the point where I forget things on my grocery list, even when they’re written down! I think part of it is not only aging, but also not being mindful. Too many other things on our mind.
We haven’t traveled since March 2020 when we went to CA to visit our son. We were supposed to go again this Oct, but we can’t because of Clementine and all her special needs. (My mom stayed here and took care of her and Monkey in 2020, but Clem didn’t need sub-q fluids at that time, plus my mom didn’t have a dog at that time either. Now she does.) So – Tim is coming to us. I actually am looking forward to traveling again once Clementine crosses over the Rainbow Bridge, but I prefer weekend getaways. Like you, I don’t like airports and rushing and strange beds. Once I get settled in though (by day two), I am fine.
The FB group, View From My Window – I joined a few years ago. I don’t follow it though because there’s too many posts. So I just go to the page once in awhile to take a look. Some people have the most gorgeous views.
I spent some time yesterday on View From My Window. The photos are amazing!
Brenda, I enjoyed your blog today. My friend whose father was an account told her to keep twenty dollars in her billfold. That way if someone robs you they will not get mad at you.
As the article says most of the forgetfully is normal aging.
My neurologist told me that, too. It seems one day my friends and I were fine and then everyone was on canes and could not find their cars at WM.
I park to the right of their door so my car is to the left going out. That makes less places to find it.
I know. One day you’re fine and suddenly you can’t remember what you had for lunch yesterday.
Recently I took just my wallet to the store with my car keys in hand. Why I did this, I can’t recall but I must have wanted to keep it light and go in for just the one item I needed. BUT I get to the checkout and realize I had put my wallet on the shelf to pick up the item I needed so I ran back quickly and there it still was. (Small town thankfully) Would you believe I keep having nightmares now about things I am laying around and leaving behind! So from now on it’s a purse only and everything inside to be pulled out and put back in.
Every single time I’ve tried to shop with just a wallet something has gone wrong.
Was going to the library today when I saw a rummage sale where I had gotten lots of books before. The wife has tons of books always…all of which she has bought..her husband gives me a deal at at 25cents a piece…so I have a whole bag of reading…she has good taste too…deal of the day…I love to read 💕
Wow! What a great deal for you!
Being travel is something we may not ever be able to really do again, I love some of the folks online, youtube esp. who share their lives. And if you like a silent walker type who just videos on youtube, here is a guy we have enjoyed so much…so peaceful we often fall asleep…yes, you will hear street sounds, bird sounds, people he walks past…but it is a quiet experience overall: https://www.youtube.com/c/RelaxingWALKER and thanks for the ideas, Brenda. It is a REAL nightmare getting through airports these days, compared to past years, when flying was made a real joy. When my daughter and kids came out, they served no food really…and trying to have things to eat with a person, that are basically snacks, what else can you do, for a basically 8 or more hours…flight was 5 hours but it takes hours waiting in airport etc…was not easy on the kids especially. SHAME on them!! We need some new airlines with brains, frankly!! Cheapskates!! No wonder Steve is anxious…and such does cause us to forget more…indeed it does.
Thanks for the link, first of all. I guess I’m just a Nervous Nelly when it comes to traveling. Not to mention life in general.
One of my bil’s has dementia and it’s very sad to see! He’s forgotten all that he has learned in college! He’ll tell u that he can’t remember things in the past and he gets so frustrated! It’s just sooo sad!
That is terribly sad to learn all those wonderful things in college only to lose the memories.
Brenda, thank you so much for highlighting my post about A View From My Window! I’m honored! I actually think you did a better job of explaining it than I did! Travel is my passion, so I hope to be on many more plane rides, but I can relate to what you say about travel anxiety. My husband is the exact same way. His anxiety clicks into high gear before a trip, and he is reluctant to travel. Once he gets to the destination, he’s happy, but while I’m excited about an upcoming trip, he’s anxious.
As for the forgetfulness part of your post, I forgot what I was going to write! (haha). Seriously, yes, I am quite guilty of searching for my phone while it’s in my hand, or forgetting a name, or location, or something that I know well. It can be a bit scary, but they say it’s one thing to lose your keys; it’s another to forget what they’re used for.
I hope you enjoy the Facebook page, and maybe you’ll post a view from your window! I know you’d have a great story to go with it!
Your zest for traveling comes out in your posts. You’re enthusiastic and always tell the tale authentically and in detail. I enjoy traveling through “you.”
When I was younger I loved impromptu road trips. I would pack a duffel bag, make sure I had enough money and hop in the car. Sometimes I would be gone for weeks. Nowadays, the thought of traveling (especially by air) seem like a burden for me. Having to make arrangements for our mail pick-up, pet care and leaving the apartment seems stressful now. I worry the most about our kitty even though I make sure that she is being looked after.
I wish I was that way. Throw caution to the wind and just head out for parts unknown. But I’ve always had such a need for “home” that I like to stay here. Probably comes from worrying I wouldn’t always have a home.
Over the last several months, I’ve noticed (on our telephone calls) an old, dear friend getting more and more forgetful and just ‘out of it’. Her health is frail; she’s already suffered a stroke and a broken hip (she’s 67), so ….. *sighing* so I figured she was going into the same mental decline that my beloved father did, with Alzheimer’s. UNTIL I GOT A CALL FROM HER FRIEND! My friend was found unresponsive on the floor of her apartment (!) -well, it turns out, she’s got the same diabetes her late mother did. And immediately I realized that her mental fog and forgetfulness of events both in the past as well as in the immediate here and now, were all about blood sugar, NOT brain decline. Always, always! pays to get it checked!!!
I read that. Many illnesses can be the cause of confusion or forgetfulness. So you’re right. Pays to get it checked out!
I have a kind of funny story about this…Preface to say,my husband died of brain cancer.Was scary.
I drove through the red light in my town,I absolutely lost it!!! I ran home called my doctor and told her what I did and said I bet I have brain cancer!
We talked and she checked me out and of course told me, you’re fine,we did realize that at the time,I was suffering from terrible insomnia and would go sometimes 3-4 days without sleeping,which would pretty much turn me into a barely functioning zombie,which probably contributed to this mishap,I now have meds for when it happens.
Fortunately, there were no tractor trailers waiting at that light( Chobani yogurt is made in my town),so there were no injuries,also no cops as I’ve never had a ticket in my life. Scary though.
That story is probably pretty common. You have in your head all the symptoms, and suddenly you feel like you have them too.
Laughed when you said”anything not attached to my body, like my head”… It is a serious subject for all of us to some degree and can be upsetting. I use my cell phone only when necessary and keep it in my purse also. My days of airplane rides are probably over. I’d rather be home also. He Steve is fortunate to be traveling with his son to look after him. It is crazy how you need an app for everything from ordering fast food to getting a movie ticket. We have a great annual Renaissance festival 20 miles away. They are only selling tickets online and are requesting you take in consideration of the weather and your health. I don’t want to whip out my phone in the store to get the coupons on my app. Annoying. Also, the other day I wrote an update on my comment. I had a skink come in the house. It is a small lizard. Tomorrow is the last day to order free Covid tests from the government. I needed them 2 weeks ago to keep away from my Dad to keep him safe when I tested positive. Take care!
I recall your comment about the skunk, so I’ll go back and check it again.
I usually remember things at 3 in the morning. I don’t know what it is about that time, but I’ll wake up and go “Oh yeah, that was the guy’s name” or “1962 – that’s when we did [this]…”. When the memory misfires started happening I was concerned for awhile that it may have been a sign of dementia or Alzheimers. I would say I started noticing this happening after I retired. I think before I retired I had to keep my brain in high gear continuously. For the first full year after retirement, I did nothing other than zombie view shows on the internet I had no idea had existed because I never knew of them or viewed them while I was working full time! Yeah, it can be frustrating when the name that is on the tip of your tongue just doesn’t want to come out of your mouth, or one of my sisters is talking about something that happened with the family in the 1980s and I’m drawing an absolute blank but everybody assures me I was there and right in the center of things! Yep, 3 a.m. That’s my magic number these days for Memory Lane.
I know that my best ideas come just after I’ve woken up but haven’t gotten up to start the day yet. The worst comes after 3 p.m.!
When I have a lapse of memory it scares me to death as my husband had Alzheimer’s for 12 yrs and I don’t want to put my daughter thru that.
Speaking of memory loss, I could not remember Julia Garner’s character’s name in Ozark and it was bugging me so much. I just finished watching Inventing Anna on Netflix. It’s the true story of Anna Sorokin/aka Anna Delvey who portrsyed she was a Russian socialite and tried to swindle all
money from big players in NY. It was a little slow in the beginning but picked up. Julia has adopted this German accent which is questionable. I know she served time and was deported to Germany and wonder what she is doing now for money.
I think I started to watch this one but didn’t go past the first part. Will have to look at it again.
My favorite saying about aging – “getting old is not for sissies”.
You’ve described my life! I feel that I’m always searching for something I’ve just set down or what I was about to do.
Have a fabulous day, Brenda!
I’m constantly calling Steve and saying: “I forgot to tell you something and I won’t remember it later.”
That’s too funny because me and one of my good friends keep a running list of things we need to tell each other when we see each other, so that we don’t forget! 😉
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