Are they out to get me?


Are they out to get me?

It’s all Brian’s fault. He had this fabulous guide put out by Harvard Medical School called ‘A Guide to Cognitive Fitness’. I read it with interest while I was his house guest. It offers ‘6 steps to optimizing brain function and improving brain health’.

My brain still functions well enough for me to realize I need help in that area, so I was determined to put into practice some of the suggestions the brilliant people at Harvard had to offer.

It told you what to expect of your brain after 50, 60, 70, or 80. What was Brian doing reading about the aging brain? Was he just telling me I’m getting forgetful? To me, the guy was still a kid. Then I realized that while I’d been aging, so had he and everyone else. I wasn’t the only one interested in the aging brain!

Did I make it up or did it really say it was normalMom report cover for my age to lose some of your short-term memory? That gave me a sense of relief. I’m normal. I would have liked to swipe the darn book so I could show that line to everyone I know, but you can’t do that when you’re someone’s guest.

Okay, my memory ain’t what it used to was, what now? It suggests learning or doing something new. I gave that thought. What can I do that’s new, interesting and fun?

I had already started to learn about Facebook, which I think, for the most part, is the biggest waste of time. (How many photos of someone’s lunch does one need to see?) However, the wise members of my book club had encouraged me to continue, because, said they: ‘It’s good to learn something new.’ (Were they giving me a message too??)


I’d never done crosswords

Something new? Something I’ve never done? Ah, crosswords. I’ve never done crosswords even though I love words. I decided to try. I had a friend who used to do the New York Crossword Puzzle completely every morning. He told me you got to learn how the guys who write them think and once you did, it got easier. Aha!

I found a crossword for dummies in a local newspaper. Well, it wasn’t called that, but it was easy enough and my friend was right, I got to know the words whoever wrote them liked to use. Even someone with my brain capacity could feel clever. I WAS able to finish them, except when they cheated by using names of athletes or actors I didn’t know. (My ten-year-old grandson could be a great resource for athletes, he knows them all — in case YOU need help with those.)

I learned something else. When I couldn’t find one or two words on the crossword and left it next to my coffee cup on the table, when I got back to it later or the next day, I COULD finish it. How come? I wonder why. (If you know, do let me know. I’m curious.)

So, why am I upset? What happened to that newspaper? Why can’t I find it all this week. I’ve looked everywhere I know they usually are and they’re not there. Is it a plot? A plan to confound my brain before it’s ready to go further?


They won’t win

THEY won’t win, I tell you! I won’t let them. I’m a fighter. I’m going to try harder ones, the kind real people are able to do. If I can’t finish them, I’ll just write in any letters I want in the blank spaces. Ha-ha! That’ll confuse them — then if they ARE out to get me, they won’t get  the satisfaction of knowing that they’ve accomplished their mission.

Wish me luck.






14 thoughts on “Are they out to get me?

  1. Muriel – I’m not sure why we can’t remember something at the time but can remember it the next day. It happens to all of us. It happened to me as a kid and it happens to me today. I don’t think it’s related to aging as much as it is a phenomenon of our brains. You needed worry. You have one of the sharpest minds of anyone I know. At least of those I remember. 🙂

  2. Muriel…you are so talented. This blog is hilarious. “Optimizing brain function” is a complicated process and boring but you were able to convert a scientific study into a comical essay. Instead of learning to do crossword puzzles I found learning Gin Rummy was fun and challenging. My opponent is a fictitious Bill who is very skillful at the game. In the beginning Bill won every game until my brain woke up. With practice and time I learned the tricks all on the computer under FREE GIN RUMMY. Now I beat Bill 8 out of 10 games. I win points … money as I do not gamble….It is so much fun and I know that “nobody is out to get me”. Keep writing Muriel. Composing your thoughts is perhaps the best brain exercise. You really do not need crossword puzzles. Joe

  3. Muriel, another outstanding blog from the Queen of the blogs. The fact that you are concerned about your brain is important but you keep so busy writing, reading and exercising, I don’t believe you should worry. I hope that this blog may encourage your readers to try a new activity. Who is this Brian person and does he really exist or did you make him up? Brian

  4. Muriel, I love the way you can impart information in a way that makes the reader laugh. Learning new things does keep our brains fit, doesn’t it? Good luck with the crosswords. (I used to do the New York Times crossword, but I was only Wednesday smart.) What’s a 6-letter word for a good friend?

  5. Thanks for the chuckle, Muriel! I love the way you don’t take yourself too seriously, and manage to find an upbeat way of looking at things. Being an “elder” really is not for sissies, and you are definitely not a sissy!

  6. How did you “remember” to lose so much weight? You look great. Love, seeing you at Music in the Morning. Were you talking to me from afar? Or to yourself? I love reading your stories. Keep it going.

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