If memory serves–which it doesn’t.

There is something wrong with my brain.

I’m sure of it.

One minute I can remember the lyrics to a bazillion songs, the list of elements in the periodic table and the names of all our American presidents. Now I’m lucky if I can remember … whatever it was I was just going to write down here.

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It’s incredibly annoying to lose the springiness of one’s brain. My hippocampus is either on fall break or I’m entering a new phase of my life through a door I cannot recall opening.

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Whereas mere months earlier I prided myself on the fact that I could be taken on a drive to a place foreign and unfamiliar, and easily find my way back home, today I grabbed my keys, dashed out the front door, started up the engine and pulled out the garage only to suddenly remember I had simply meant to go to the bathroom.

There’s no dire medical issue—no diagnoses of cognitive meltdown–just old fashioned overload. It’s like my brain is a rather large cannoli, unable to contain the mostly fluffy contents stuffed within it. And things leak out unattractively.

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I’m not too terribly panicked at this point, for I remember my mother around this stage of her life with four teenagers demanding physical, mental, and at times, emotionally fever-pitched attention. Her basic response to any pleading look cast her way was, “Did I remember to feed you today?” I like how she brought every issue down to its simplest form before proceeding to venture into other territories. In essence, all other matters were manageable as long as that box had been ticked.

The fact that both my teenagers have dedicated space in their bedrooms equivalent to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault  (to provide insurance against any conversations such as those I described with their grandmother from ever taking place ) provides me adequate peace of mind. Although I have gone through the parental motions of nagging and threatening to eliminate weekly pocket money, nights out privileges, and occasionally even a bodily limb if I once again find out they’ve been eating in their rooms, I’m also aware of the fact that they might be doing us all a giant favor if the world should suddenly go to hell in a hand basket and we are cut off from civilization with nothing apart from my mushrooming whisky inventory, forty-six tins of cat food and a rosemary bush. Suddenly, they and their stash of after school and late night snacks are elevated to hero status.

Now recalling the subject matter of this post, I feel it important that you know I’m not simply sitting back and watching the inner workings of my brain decay day by day, but have leapt to the call of necessity and refuse to sit by idly. I will not be one of those women who live with their adult children, watch them leave for work in the morning, stare out the window all day long and then upon their return realize I’ve not eaten or used the toilet since the night before.

No. Not me.

I plan to fight with both fists up. And not using the girlie fist position with thumbs tucked in where they break upon impact.

My training regimen requires an appetite:

Healthy diet—No problem. I eat enough leafy flora to notice the slight tinge of cabbage patch green on my skin, and have discovered that I’ve ingested enough chlorophyll to nearly glow in the dark.

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Take supplements—At times I feel I am a giant walking ginkgo tree as I consume the leaves’ magic memory powers with such enthusiasm that I’m certain each of my cells are bathing in a small pool of tea, paste and gravy of gingko related products. And I’m forever hunting down any compound that claims to help my brain’s cell to cell communication. I’m even considering getting each one of them their own little iPhones if it might help with their correspondence.

Brain boosting exercise—I’m unsure at this point which is harder: flexing the flab of my bodily muscles or sharpening my cerebrum with puzzles and labyrinthine tasks. I do both, but feel equally disabled after each. Stretch, pump, push, pull … collapse. It’s so much easier to eat kale.

Drink red wine—Finally! Need I say more? Well, I can’t, because it’s a little challenging while swilling zinfandel.

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Laugh—Surprised? Me too. I came across several fancy pants universities that were engaged in or had completed studies with their students as subjects, determining whether or not weaving humor into “needed to learn” material could positively influence memory and recall, and therefore increase test scores. It turns out to be true. Except for one study. This was conducted in Nebraska. I suggest Nebraska should be sent a few more cases of red wine to help with future results of this study.

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Overall, I feel I’m doing my best to combat the natural downfall of my overworked, under-appreciated grey matter. I will continue to add some color with the greens and reds of food and wine, I will practice mental maneuvers to create an MRI brain map that will make the ROYGBIV spectrum pale in comparison, and I will wait patiently for the next season of Parks and Recreation to resume so that my weekly dose of belly laughs can begin anew.

In truth, the ultimate answer to all of my memory despair could easily be fixed by making a simple dinner reservation. Give me a salad, a glass of wine and  Amy Poehler as my dinner companion.

Now that would be a night to remember.

~Shelley

Don’t forget to check out what we’re cookin’ in the Scullery (here) and what we all talked about down in the pub (here). And to see more of Robin Gott‘s humor–all from the only pen carved from a human funny bone–click here.