CYNERGY: A matter of gray matter

Cynthia Burton
Cynthia Burton

I mailed my daughter’s birthday card, containing a gift card, a week before to ensure it would arrive in Ft. Lauderdale on time. Called Shannon on the 6th to see if she had received it. She hadn’t. Probably the post office’s fault, I surmised.

After a couple more days, I asked Shannon to confirm her address, which she’d resided at for a year. Oops. I mailed her card to the wrong address. Well, enjoy that gift card whoever you are!

Turns out I transcribed the address incorrectly from my trusty address book to my iPhone. Following that incident, I decided to treat myself to a matinee, a rare occasion in my book. I reviewed the movie times online and wrote them down. Wouldn’t you know it? I showed up at the wrong time and missed the feature!

Prior to those mishaps, a couple of months ago, I scheduled Cox to activate my cable service. Then I waited for the appointed day. And waited. I called Cox asking why my service wasn’t activated on the scheduled day. Wouldn’t you know it? I wrote down the wrong day. I apologized profusely and proceeded to write myself a note to schedule an optometrist appointment post haste. That appointment never came to fruition. Why you may ask?

I couldn’t find my reminder note. Out of sight, out of mind.

A similar occurrence happened regarding my trusty taupe handbag. I reached up for it on the closet rack. After all, I was wearing taupe sandals and had to accessorize, right? Wrong. The lovely taupe purse was nowhere to be found. I am an uber-organized individual (my wardrobe is arranged by color, as are all of my accessories), so this quandary perplexed, and vexed, me. What the hell was happening to me?

After a critical self-examination that lasted maybe one minute, I dismissed the obvious culprits like stress, not enough hours in a day, the moon cycle, the presidential election hullabaloo and the threat of no Social Security benefits when I retire in 20 years. I deduced there was only one reason for my shortcomings and short term memory loss: age.

Oh, no, I didn’t just blame it on the A-word. Oh, but yes, I just did. Age is to blame. Is my gray matter now gray splatter? Is my brain an egg and now it’s scrambled? Are my synapses, nerve impulses, firing blanks instead of firing? Are my dendrites, nerve cells, now “dendwrongs?” Am I suffering from acute brain drain? Has my get up and go gone up and went? If you’re over 50, like me, the answer is probably yes to all of the above.

My precious brain cells are dying — and so are yours. Age invokes certain inalienable rights such as memory loss, memory pause and memory flaws. Memory is fluid and sometimes flows right on out the door. Memory is also crystallized, and as hard as it to admit, some of my crystals are shattered. In conclusion, my mental notes are not so noteworthy. Therefore, the handbags sometimes disappear, hopefully not forever.

Sometimes the birthday card doesn’t get where it’s going, which is why I sent another one, but with tracking this time around. Sometimes the movie is not so groovy because I get the time wrong.

In the bigger scheme of things, these mishaps are not life threatening. They are, however, humbling. Have you eaten your slice of humble pie lately?

I probably won’t head on down to the pharmacy to grab that medicine made from jellyfish protein to boost my brain function. Maybe I’ll include more brain healthy foods in my diet to stave off brain “boo boos.” I already take a multi-vitamin to boost brain health. Guess it needs a little more boost. No matter. My old gray matter ain’t what she used to be. I accept that. Now, what was I saying?

Cynthia Burton is a Destin resident.