- Do you sometimes forget the name of the street on which you live?
- Is it common for you to skip conjunctions while writing or speaking?
- Have you recently purchased a sweater from Old Navy with no recollection of where you put it?
- Do you look back on essays you wrote in college and think to yourself, "How the hell did I ever write so many words all at once?"
If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, you might be losing your mind. That's okay, though, because I am too. They say the mind is the first thing to go, after all.
Really though, is anyone else experiencing this? In recent days, I have been feeling like my brain is in slow motion. Just over all, I feel less sharp, less quick, less quippy. No longer am I Lorelai Gilmore with my coffee-infused, manic, Sorkin-esque speech patterns. No, no. I'm Elmer Fudd. I'm Grandpa Simpson. I'm....uh....some other pop culture reference of someone who speaks and thinks slowly.
It's not just in my communication, but across the board, I just feel like I am slow on the uptake. Lately I have found myself asking, "What's another word for..." or "Who was that guy who..." or "Where did I put my..." With increasing frequency, I have been walking into rooms, announcing myself by saying, "Wait...why did I come in here?"
It's a phenomenon that has truly left me puzzled and, honestly, a bit fearful. I have always prided myself on being quick to act, responsive, bright. It's a strange thing to suddenly feel my mind becoming less acute. I've racked my brain for a reason why, which was probably not a great idea considering how fragile it is at the moment, and here are a few possible explanations I've come up with for this unforeseen shift in my cognitive functions:
1. I am getting older.
Like, hold up -- I know I'm still a baby. I'm around that quarter of a century mark, and I know that if Nora Ephron were here today, she would implore me to celebrate my youth by spending the next eight years of my life in a bikini. I get it, there is still a whole lot of livin' left to do.
Still, I can't help but think that perhaps right now I am experiencing a premature stage of the aging process. It's a subtle change, but perhaps this is really what happens as you grow older. If so, I need not worry because it's not just happening to me, but it's also occurring in the lives of everyone in my age bracket. Right? RIGHT?!
2. I haven't been in school for a few years.
Still, if you attended a university: remember how you could just walk into a lecture hall, sit down, and have your worldview completely transformed by your Introductory Sociology class? Remember how you would study for finals until you could barely lift your head from your notes? Remember the class discussions, the debates, the critical thinking?
Being in school always initiated a pursuit of more. There was rigorous study involved -- homework, essays, research. But for the first time in my life, I don't have that system in place. If I want to learn and grow, I have to muster up my own energy to find new ways to do that. And if I am being honest, I am not always the best at it. I'm a lover of museums, travel, books, but Lord knows, I regularly choose Netflix over all of those things.
And as such, I think my brain might be paying the price. Where brain go?
3. Mercury is in retrograde.
Again, I don't believe in any of this. But how fun is it to accidentally say something stupid and then follow it up with, "Ugh, forget I said that. Mercury is in retrograde, right?" Pretty fun.
4. Maybe I should...ugh...eat better and...bluh...exercise more
Apparently eating right and exercising is crucial in supporting cognitive health.
5. I am being haunted.
Anyway, I thought I'd throw this out there in case anyone happened to relate. Is it just me?! Am I the only one who is noticing this delay in cognitive functioning in my life?
Also if you have any thoughts on how I can increase my mental productivity, leave them in the comments section.
Oh, and for the record, I just looked over this entire post and I had to correct my spelling of the word "brain" three different times (originally spelled "brian"). Yet another example of my dwindling cerebral capacities.