While sitting in the family room, I grabbed my cup of tea and noticed that it was empty. Deciding to make more tea, I went to the kitchen. When I got there, I forgot why I went there. I looked at the sink but there were no dishes to wash. The bathroom and laundry room are off the kitchen. Didn’t have to pee so that was not the reason for heading this way. I looked toward the laundry room and saw the vacuum cleaner. I figured that I was headed through the kitchen to the laundry room to get the vacuum. So I vacuumed and dusted in the family room. After putting the cleaning stuff away, I sat down in the family room. I grabbed my cup of tea and noticed that it was empty.
There is good news about the empty tea cup story. As soon as I sat down the second time and lifted that cup for some tea, I instantly remembered that the previous trip to kitchen was to make more tea. I have had other issues with memory, mostly stuff that is annoying only to me such as forgetting to move clean clothes from the washing machine to the dryer.
So is this memory issue normal for a 60-year-old like me? In the “Memory loss: when to seek help” article from the Mayo Clinic, they report: “Some degree of memory problems, as well as a modest decline in other thinking skills, is a fairly common part of aging.” The article goes on to say that, “These changes in memory are generally manageable and don’t disrupt your ability to work, live independently or maintain a social life.” I have not reached the serious memory loss level such as asking the same question repeatedly or getting lost in my own neighborhood.
Managing my memory loss
One day recently, my husband told me how frustrating it is sometimes for him to talk with me and it was because of my forgetfulness. I started crying, telling him to imagine being in my shoes. I used to have an excellent memory and it saddens me as I feel I have lost control of part of my life. My husband is sympathetic with my memory loss issues. He helps by leaving notes on the kitchen counter to remind me of things he has told me like him working late that evening.
I use an electronic calendar or my cell phone to set reminders that happen regularly such as watering the house plants. Performing tasks as I think of them has become a new norm. Rather than thinking the next time I go upstairs I will [fill the blank], I now do that task immediately. If it is something that should wait, like postponing weeding the garden because it is raining, I write down the task for completion later though I know I run the risk of not remembering to read the note to myself. Perhaps I should keep my to-do list by the tea bags. Seems I always remember, eventually, to make tea.