Sunday, November 20, 2016

Are you lucid or losing it?

Dear Friends,

As I write, it's the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

I know several people who keep lists and think every day about the things in their lives that are good. My family and I enjoy good health. We're fairly happy and content. We have a lot of great things in our lives, and one of those great things is that we're on top of our lives and current events. 

One of my big fears is that I'll start "losing it." That my mind won't function as it has, that I'll lose memories, that I'll not recognize people.

I have a funky memory. I have a hard time remembering names and I've joked that my family should wear name tags but they refuse. On the other hand, I can outline a 2-day training session including exercises and deliver most of it with a bare-bones outline. 

I've also told my husband it might be hard to know if my memory is slipping. I take a lot of notes and make checklists, and contacts and calendars are in my phone. I'm not exercising that part of my brain as I once did, freeing it up for writing and other tasks.

I lost a lot of my childhood memories, and my suspicion is that some of it is tied to reminiscing with others. My parents were young when they died and so was I. Dad was 45 and I was almost 13 and Mom was 50 and I was 21. 

When Mom was alive, we didn't sit around and talk about our family times that had passed. It was too sad to bring up and I didn't want to upset her. My sisters and I did not often discuss our childhood and our parents nor did we look at many photos. It was too painful in the beginning and as time went on, we had other things to discuss: our kids, our travels, what movies we've seen and so on. Life moved on without those discussions so I did lose a lot.

If you have family or friends who would enjoy reminiscing, it would be a pleasant thing to do. I think it'd be good to find some balance between talking about the past and talking about the present.

I've learned from my experience with "Terry" [I wrote about this person in previous entries] that socializing is so important to our well-being. Each medical care person talked about how important it is to be around and interact with others as we age. This helps keep our minds sharp and may prevent dementia. You can go to Google and search for "socializing as we age" to bring up a variety of links and articles about it. 

The Alzheimer's Association has a lot of information about dementia and Alzheimer's, and that is a great starting point to learn more about these issues.

Best wishes to you all, and happy socializing!

Take care,


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