The Storage and Retrieval Game

After almost a year’s experience I have to say that being in one’s 80’s is no big deal. There have been no major changes; my back is still bent and I still walk like a question mark. The doctors are still puzzling at the condition and trying different pills on me. Some days I wander around like a zombie and other days I sleep a lot, but my old back remains bent. On the memory side I recognized and greeted a couple of old acquaintances yesterday – they are both pushing 90 and I’m not sure they knew who I was. My appetite is great and I can still read the small print. What did happen is that this morning, whilst scrunched over the crossword, I found myself sitting with the answer to a clue hanging off the end of my tongue and not making it all the way to the pen.

That’s the only change I can detect, a suggestion of slow retrieval from the vast storage system I shlep around with me. The filing system is full, most of the drawers overflowing:
‘Family and Friends’ is pretty full.
‘Engineering and Information Technology’ is bursting and has a notice hanging on the front – “no new information accepted here’.
‘Culture’ has small spaces available between the books, music and writing.
‘Department of Useless Information’ which houses miscellaneous and little used stuff has huge globs of information hanging from it hoping it will still be called on to provide an answer. There is no ‘Full’ notice so I keep pushing more and more in there hoping it will find a place. But I’m starting to think it’s a waste of time. I can still rack up a respectable score at the monthly trivia evening here at the retirement home.

We all go through life building these huge storage systems for ourselves, convinced they are made of concrete and will be there forever. It’s not like that at all. They are made of some kind of Jello and are highly susceptible to outside influence. In extreme cases they melt and leave one with no memory at all.

Oh yes, the crossword character I couldn’t remember in the story of Jason and the Argonauts was Helle. How on earth could I forget him?


One response to “The Storage and Retrieval Game

  • hettiematz

    Good morning my friend,

    I don’t know how many responses you will receive to your “blog” but I have to tell you that I know you have a fantastic brain/mind, and I feel lucky to read your thoughts.
    I’m sure, if I were closer to you, I would appreciate your art as well, even though I’m not very good in that category.
    Your description of all the layers that go to making up “a lifestyles filing system” is very apt.
    Can you believe I have kept a daily diary since 1957 and have not thrown one away. Yet, when the time comes and they go through my things, they will smile at every birthday card, Mothers day card and Anniversary cards that I have received.
    As I have no specific hobbies, except bridge and watching “The Tennis” the rest of my space is taken up with photographs.
    A lot of my time goes into “My thoughts” and here, like you, I too am missing words and people’s names. Sometimes they come back to me after I go through the alphabet in my head, and sometimes they have gone forever, which worries me a lot, as I keep most things that have been precious.
    Thank you for putting me on your mailing list, it makes me happy when I open my iPad and see the “Exceedingly Senior” title and know you are up and about, bent back and all the rubbish pills you are taking that make you muggy. (I’m trying to say Moggy) but it wouldn’t let me.

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