As I age, I find it more and more challenging to recall very quickly the names of even those people and things that used to be second nature to me. There is no sense of panic from this phenomenon, because all my friends and family who are my age (75 or older), seem to experience this same characteristic of life’s period of mellowing, which we all try to share, often through humor, whenever possible.
I sometimes liken the memory function to index cards we once used in libraries in order to locate information we wanted or needed. It often takes a moment to find the right one, and as we age, the number of those “cards” increases exponentially until it seems that there are millions of them, and that finding the one we need at any given moment may just take longer. Teenagers usually have only three of those cards at hand: sex, food, and cellphones, rendering their filing systems much faster, if not as rich. Maybe too, the image of a lightbulb above a person’s head works. The problem comes when the bulb eventually begins decreasing from one hundred Watts to seventy-five on some days and before coffee, down to fifty for us elderly folks.
Finally, it makes sense to me that as the elder generation, we can be sympathetic enough to share whatever “Wattage” we may have left to light the way with patience and compassion for each other. There also remains a lot of experience and wisdom on all those little index cards, too much value to discard in favor of mere speed in a world obsessed with velocity. JB