November 25, 2011

What We're Thinking

Like many of you, I imagine, it’s becoming more difficult to remember certain things. Such as people’s names, for instance, or trying to recall a word when writing a post, an email, or speaking. I’ve always been a poor speller, but it is getting even more difficult with age. I’m saved by word check for the most part, but not when sending a text. The other day I texted a friend and said that if he found himself bored this weekend that maybe he could begin writing an intro for an idea that we’re brewing. The problem is that when I went to write the word “bored” I wrote “bord” instead. I knew “bord” wasn’t correct, but in the moment, and in my haste, for the life of me I couldn’t remember how to spell it.

“I’m losing my mind,” I half-thought.

My brainwaves are definitely short-circuiting.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that in many ways I feel, like many of you probably do, that some of my thinking is clearer than it has ever been. Perhaps this is partly the wisdom of aging, but I also read recently that some areas of our brain aren’t fully developed until we are 45-50 years old. How great is this? So it’s not just that we have more life experiences to draw from as we age- but also that we’re able to access associations more quickly than ever before.

Amen.

In particular the brain’s prefrontal cortex doesn’t finish developing until mid-life. Among other things, this area of our brain is responsible for organizing thoughts, problem solving, considering the future, making predictions, as well as inhibiting inappropriate behavior, initiating appropriate behavior, controlling impulses, and delaying gratification.

Maybe because of this older people are more apt to grasp the big picture. Maybe this is partly why that at social occasions I am drawn to talking with them.

It is also why there is a group called The Elder Wisdom Circle. This network has more than 600 advisers, age 60-105 that offers free one-on-one advice online.

It’s great to know they are there- the next time any of us are in a bit of a quandary.


 Light bulb photo by Digitalart


5 comments:

  1. This is a Great post Louise!

    Thank you!

    It is comforting to know that the prefrontal cortex continues to develop until we are 45-50.

    I have 5 months or less to continue developing...LOL

    I definitely have impairments in memory for past experiences, the details of them and for word finding and spelling.

    I have noticed this decline strongly over the past few months..

    I decided my brain needs room for new info and it is time to delete the old that doesn't serve the present moment.

    I love what you wrote about "delaying gratification and controlling impulses" as we age.

    This is so true!

    There is a peace in it that resonates with wisdom.

    I truly have loved my forties and am looking forward to the fifties for many reasons!

    What I love the most about aging is having a voice.
    When we are younger we carry with us insecurities, as we age we gain confidence and no longer are plugged in to what others think of us, rather stand strong in who we are.

    Love ya,
    XOXO

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  2. Sometimes I think mental fogginess is also just a symptom of having too much going on at once. We are so overrun with our fast paced lives and modern technology today- and the stress it puts on us.

    Maria I really like your last paragraph here:

    What I love the most about aging is having a voice.
    When we are younger we carry with us insecurities, as we age we gain confidence and no longer are plugged in to what others think of us, rather stand strong in who we are.

    Thank you for your comment.

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  3. Great post Lou! I agree, sometimes the fogginess is simply that our brains are on overload! Love what you and Maria both have to say about the process of aging. Our wisdom gains recognition as time goes on...most importantly for me, I've learned to listen to my soul, my gut, my connection to spirit. It hasn't steered me wrong yet..and I doubt ever will. Peace to you sister..xoxo

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  4. Add a bunch of weed to the mix and I promise you won't remember anything--even before you hit 40! Not that I would know or anything. *cough*

    Thanks for the Elder Wisdom Circle link! I am totally using that sucker.

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  5. Demandra you make me laugh all the time.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete