Live & Learn

I made a list of resolutions but forgot where I put it

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It happened again. I totally forgot an appointment. I had planned to drive to Scottsdale last Tuesday, pick up my daughter-in-law and take her with me to the Christmas party-meeting of a study group to which I belong. I sailed through the day, doing some holiday baking, some cleaning, some shopping. Never once did the planned event cross my mind until my daughter-in-law called.

"Aren't you coming?" she said, amazed that I had answered the phone when I should have been at her house an hour before. I was equally stunned. How could I have forgotten? I really wanted to go to that party.

As I have already hinted, these "forgetting" episodes are epidemic lately. Bits of burnt egg still drop on my head occasionally from the kitchen ceiling, the result of the Great Eggsplosion that occurred one day when I put a pan of eggs on the stove to boil, then went outside to work in the garden. What can I say? I forgot the eggs were on the stove.

There have been many other such incidents, but I forget what they were. All I know is, "senior moment" is not cutting it anymore. I keep having this vision of my family calling secret meetings to discuss "What the heck is going on with mom?" I'm afraid intervention may be the next step.

Don't worry, I've ruled out the serious stuff, like Alzheimer's. And while I'd like to blame it on aging, I know that's just a cop-out. Truth is, I've always had memory lapses, like the typical absent-minded professor, and the longer I live, the worse it gets. It's a bad habit gone to seed. Retirement is partly responsible; having a job kept me focused and organized sort of. Not getting fired is strong motivation.

Still, I know I have a problem. So, I've decided that improving my memory will be my No.1 New Year's resolution. This replaces the No.1 resolution for the past 25 years: Lose 20 pounds before March.

I'm going to do this right. I've made a list of Things To Do To Improve My Memory. The first one is my own idea. The next two are from "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," by James and Phyllis Balch.

Pay attention to what I'm doing. Concentrate. Make lists, mark the calendar and look at them often during the day. A 94-year-old I once knew had a blackboard on an easel in the middle of his house on which he wrote down everything he needed to remember. He couldn't help seeing it wherever he went. I might resort to that. My daughter-in-law suggested a wrist-watch with an alarm.

Give my brain more nourishment (just in case it really is turning to petrified wood). Eat more raw foods and foods high in the B vitamins. Be aware that alcohol, refined sugar, poor sleep and poor diet contribute to poor memory. Take supplements believed to support memory function like ginkgo biloba and DHEA plus multivitamins and minerals.

Practice deep breathing and get more exercise, which help restore mental alertness. Stop worrying about forgetting. Anxiety fogs the brain.

If the above plan doesn't work, tell everyone I have an incurable disease called Sapience In Absentia, and move on to resolution No. 2, as soon as I remember it.

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