What’s in your braincase?

This morning when I came downstairs to care for the dogs and feed my parrots, I found a half eaten piece of fruitcake on the kitchen counter. Good grief!

Actually, I found cake crumbs and followed them to a half eaten piece of fruit cake which the miscreant had dragged behind the microwave oven.  Yes, it was a mess. As I don’t eat fruitcake, I know the culprit had David’s help.

Of course the mice found his fruitcake. His precut and wrapped cake slices are secure in a tin.  He left this particular cake slice out  last night.  When I yelled told him, he was contrite and admitted it must have been him. He knows I don’t eat fruitcake.

Then he got upset.  Now he thinks he is losing his mind.  I assured him No, he is merely unable to focus on more than one thing at a time these days and if it involves food, he had better make that the number 1 priority.

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Sudoku layout

Sudoku layout (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week, we heard a program on PBS about mind strength. The speaker recommended that as you age you need to do things to build new synapses in your brain to replace the synapses you are losing to senility.

I do this by reading complex books. However, should you have abandoned this type of thinking, you can improve your mind skills with puzzles, and other math based activities.  You can find Sudoku on the website of the AARP (American Association for retired people).

My sister works the New York Times crossword puzzles and plays games endlessly on Facebook (how I know she is alive).  I bought some games for my Kindle: Monopoly (more chance than skill); Scrabble; NYT crosswords; Solitaire and others.  Many of the games have a computer competitor named A1.  I call him Al.  I also like to work jigsaw puzzles. I have the cutout kind, but you can find them on the AARP site also.

I think working on a blog probably helps me retain some of my thinking skills, but it’s not enough. Writing, reading, puzzle solving and other complex tasks work different parts of the brain.

As we age, it is important to not only work ourselves physically, but mentally too.  Very important.

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English: Dylan Thomas Gravesite Dylan Thomas's...

Dylan Thomas Gravesite in the churchyard at Laugharne (1981); I understand that since, his widow Caitlin has died and is also interred here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the running jokes on many of the TV programs geared to the older person is “why bother?” True you will never recover that beautiful body you had at age 25, but you might improve the quality of your life if you do something every day to strengthen your mind and body. So what are you doing today to help yourself?  Or have you given up the fight? 

Dylan Thomas wrote: 

Do not go gentle into that dark night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Starting today…..  

12 thoughts on “What’s in your braincase?

  1. One thing I do is read your blog . . . and others. But as for the body, I am continuing therapy, thankfully, and walking when weather permits. There are so many things I want to do that I haven’t tried to figure if they are on the list as helpful. I just know if they interest me I am more likely to do them.

  2. Do I want to live on my own for another 30 years? No I certainly don’t. When you wake up with angina in the middle of the night, finishing the NY Times Crossword, or a Sudoku puzzle against the clock, certainly do not feature. I put my all into each day as it comes and let tomorrow look after itself.

  3. Keeping the brain cells occupied can be so very tiring if it’s done only for the purpose of staying flexible. I like doing things that I enjoy. If they happen to be good for me at the same time so much the better.

    Still, I do find that names escape me, that I forget why I went into a particular room and what I wanted there and where I put the clever book I was reading.

    I can’t see myself going into a decline just yet, though, there are far too many things I find interesting.

  4. I keep my brain active thinking up excuses to tell B why the candy has disappeared, or the ice cream or the pie. But fruitcake? Don’t touch the stuff! Yeah, I do a crossword occasionally as well, but never got into Sudoko … it’s that old math anxiety.

  5. You’re absolutely right, of course. I think the blog helps me to keep thinking, but they say numbers are very important. Mom was telling me I should be adding numbers in my head. My neighbor ended up with Alzheimers and she did complex crosswords every morning. I’ve heard that exercise is key also to keep your brain cells healthy. Now that is something I need to improve on.

  6. My nightly routine is doing a NY Times Crossword puzzle, then reading until about 11. I guess it keeps me more alert but my spelling is nowhere near where it once was. I will be 80 in February and I’ve given up raging … but a good old howl once in awhile is refreshing !

  7. Don’t drink alcohol, or if you do, drink just one drink on special occasions, like your birthday. Alcohol kills brain cells. Even one glass of wine every night will kill brain cells, and these cells don’t grow back.

  8. So glad your winter is mild. here are are about the same,…..mild with rain.

    What do you think of the good reads stuff please? Yes, reading….sometimes slowly. No math anything as I don’t want to spend the rest of my old age curled up in a ball and crying. I find solitaire is very good for my hand eye stuff, but the numbers frustrate me. Did I ever tell you that G wins his games 100% of the time.

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