Someone keeps trying to hack into my online accounts.
Unfortunately, that person is me.
Passwords, pin codes, and occasionally the names of my very own children, are just a few of the informational black holes created by my aging brain. But it’s more than just names and numbers that disappear. Tangible objects have been known to go missing.
One Christmas not so long ago, my sweet daughter gave me and my hubby tickets to see Les Mis. As the performance date drew near, I wanted to check the time the curtain went up. I rifled through my “Important Stuff” file folder. The tickets were nowhere to be found. I checked my desk drawer. My purse. Assorted piles of paper on countertops and nightstands. My underwear drawer. The vegetable crisper. Nothing.
I concluded we must have thrown them away in the flurry of gift wrap after Christmas. Sheepishly, we paid the replacement fee and went on to enjoy the show.
Months passed. Easter was now just around the corner. Time to make deviled eggs. I took out the cake decorator I use to pipe the yolk into fluffy yellow peaks. (Don’t be too impressed. It’s one of the few family recipes I make that doesn’t wind up looking like Pinterest “fail” photos.) What should I find in the box? You guessed it. Two tickets to Les Mis. Okay, so I did make deviled eggs over the Christmas/New Years holiday. But exactly how those tickets traveled from our living room to the kitchen and then into the decorator box remains a menopausal mystery. All I can say is I must have gotten distracted on the way to my Important Stuff folder.
Not as though that’s a big surprise. These days I can’t take a shower and mentally organize my day at the same time. Just last week I caught myself washing my face with my hair conditioner, instead of facial scrub. At least now the hair on my upper lip seems shinier and more full-bodied.
I used to be a whiz at multitasking, absolutely un-distractible. I could carry on a phone conversation while writing on my computer with music blaring in the background, as I also sipped tea and snacked on cookies. These days, if the heater happens to click on while I’m working I get so distracted I need a cookie break and head to the kitchen where I notice I haven’t cleaned out the dishwasher, which then gets halfway emptied before I see a birthday card I forgot to mail on the counter, but before I can head out to the mailbox my phone alerts me to a text from someone asking if we’re still meeting for lunch—where I was supposed to be 15 minutes ago. Of course to read the text I try to put on a pair of reading glasses only to discover I’m already wearing one.
Yes, times have changed and so has my brain. Aging has ushered me into a second adolescence. My face is breaking out. My monthly cycle’s out of whack. My hormones are as jumpy as an over-caffeinated assassin. I have work that needs to be done, an ever-growing To-Do list hovering over me, making me sweat. (Or is that a hot flash?) But all I can muster any interest in is losing myself between the pages of a novel or re-posting Facebook videos of kittens singing with the dubbed voices of celebrity pop stars. What’s a biddy to do?
The first time I hit adolescence, I couldn’t wait to be older. Now, I dream of what it was like to be younger. Thinner. Prettier. Quicker on my feet. Quicker in my recall. If I can’t have a younger body, I’ll settle for a younger brain. MY brain. The one that actually worked. The one that was fun to go out with because it remembered the punchline to the joke I’m in the middle of telling. The one that could locate car keys, theater tickets and the parking space I pulled my car into less than ten minutes ago. The one that attracted minutia like my black dress pants collect lint. The one that made me feel smart.
Adolescence, whether it’s our first or second time around, is a season of upheaval and change. A positive perspective makes this synonymous with growth and adventure. And once I track down my reading glasses, I’m certain I’ll be able to see this Big Picture more clearly…
This post is an excerpt from Vicki’s new book,