Sunday, July 22, 2012

And the marbles just roll away . . .

Those of you who are "of a certain age" will understand this -- those not of a certain age, this is what you have to look forward to. :)

I find myself, these days, saying often "I'm really losing my marbles," in response to what seem to be gaps in my thought processes, memory, and so on.  In class or in conversation, I will be reaching for a word, and it's just not there.  I know if I keep trying to think of what it is, it won't make any difference; I have to just choose another word, and of course a minute or hour or day later, I think "Interaction.  Duh."

I have rarely used a calendar with any frequency; I'd start using one and then it would fall by the wayside and I'd just store things in my memory, which resembled a steel trap at that point.  Today, I forget that we need bagels, that I was supposed to be at a watercolor class at 10AM, not 1PM, that I needed to return those papers to the insurance guy last week, with alarming frequency.  So now I'm trying to use a calendar -- I have Google calendar set up on all my computers and devices -- and I forget to put things in it.  I think I've put things in it, but when I look back, I haven't.  Because I often forget my phone, I write something on the back of an envelope in my purse and then forget I've written it there.  I find myself gasping to myself -- oh no, I should have canceled that doctor's appointment, or I'm supposed to be at a meeting for Open Studios, or we're leaving on vacation in two days and I haven't had the car looked at or printed out the confirmations or talked to the woman who's going to house sit while we're gone.    

While all this is, as people have told me, perfectly normal, I still find it provokes a lot of anxiety.  I've always been the person that was on top of things, that could keep a lot of balls in the air without ever letting one drop.  But things have changed.  To wonder "Am I losing my marbles?" is really wondering, "Are these the first signs of Alzheimer's?" and I upset myself just thinking that.  (One of my grandmothers had Alzheimer's, I'm pretty sure, but we didn't have the term back then  -- we just thought she was loony and cried at unexpected moments and was, well, losing her marbles.) 

This morning, Grace and I showed up for an appointment that I had clearly mis-scheduled on my calendar, because the person we were to meet never showed up.  We waited for 20 minutes, and then left.  I need to call her to find out what the real date was.  I look like a doofus in both people's eyes, I'm sure.

Hmmm . . . is this a downer of a post?  Sometimes I can laugh about it, and I guess that's the frame of mind I should try to stay in.  Have you ever had to deal with this?  Do you have strategies you use to stay on top of things?  Or to cover the fact that you've completely drawn a blank?

On a lighter note, I recently finished an online collage class that was really fun.  Here's a digital one I did:

The title:  The Urban Forest.  I liked the class so much, I'm going to do it again in the fall.

And how are you doing?  Have your marbles started rolling away?