As I get older I find it harder to recall some things. Some people call these “senior moments” which seems to imply that I am getting older and that my brain is not working as fast as it used to. I reject that idea completely. My having difficulty recalling some things is not because my brain is getting slower. Rather, it is because it is so full of important information that it takes my brain’s “search engines” longer to find what I’m looking for. To put it another way, if you have a library with only three books in it, I guarantee that you’ll find what you’re looking for a lot faster than if it contained say, 12,000 books.
I read somewhere once that whenever you remember something, you carve a new groove in your brain. If that’s true, mine must have a lot of grooves in it. Maybe some of those newer grooves are not as deep as some of the earlier ones. It’s harder to carve grooves into tough old leather than it is in soft squishy stuff. That would explain why I can tell you stories about experiences I had 50 or 60 years ago in such excruciating detail. My only problem is, (correction – your problem is) I can’t remember that I’ve told you that story about five or six times before.
It might also explain why I can’t remember whether I took my pills this morning. I have so many other more important things to remember and think about. Like the name of my third grade teacher or the girl friend I had when I was eleven years old or how much I paid for that 1963 Chevy.
To be fair about all this, you need to remember that life was sure a lot simpler in 1940 or thereabouts. They complain that kids today don’t read the classics – books like Ivanhoe, The Odyssey, A Tale of Two Cities (“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”), Kidnapped, Tom Sawyer or Macbeth. On the other hand, we (smart old people like me) didn’t have to worry about how many gigabytes of memory we have or having to read PhotoShop instruction manuals written by some guy in Beijing. We didn’t have to learn to play complicated video games; we just read Superman and Batman comic books. We didn’t have to watch American Idol or You Think You Can Dance?; instead we listened to The Green Hornet and The Lone Ranger and Amos and Andy… in black and white. (Now that I think about that, we may have had it a little harder because we had to create mental pictures from our imaginations instead of seeing all those special effects pictures showing people jumping off of roofs and landing without getting hurt.
It might also explain why I think of those events as being back in the “good old days” which were much better than the things that happened as recently as yesterday. And that makes me think about kids today (to old guys like me that’s anyone under 45) who complain about stuff. Hey you guys, just remember this.
These are the good old days that you will remember about 45 years from now.