I'll admit it. I went through a period where it seemed like mentally I was starting to slip. Forgetting more than usual--loss of concentration--slow reaction in new situations. Cynthia was openly concerned and while downplaying it all, privately I was too. During our last weeks in the States, the stress of preparing to move certainly didn't help.
But once we got here all those symptoms vanished. I was so caught up in the newness of our daily life that I didn't notice at first. As we settled in a bit, though, it became obvious to us both that an almost astonishing improvement had occurred.
So now that I could think clearly again I began to ponder how this happened. After all, since people generally don't embrace change, most would consider moving abroad and starting a new life exciting, for sure, but pretty darned stressful in its own way--new surroundings, new language, new friends------new everything.
Yet here I am, the guy who just a few months ago was experiencing brain freeze trying to find the exit in parking lots, now almost every day dispensing advice to others on global relocation! What's going on? Is it the mountain air? The food? The increased exercise?
Maybe all those factors play a role, but here's what I've discovered is the main ingredient for mental clarity, razor-sharp concentration, and improved memory:
DON'T HAVE MUCH TO THINK ABOUT
Who knew it could be so simple? When you're not always caught up juggling what seems like a million commitments you get to totally focus on "right now." You can enjoy slowing down and listening to what others are saying instead of formulating your snappy response. And your memory is phenomenal when there's nothing much to remember.
I can't take all the credit for this revelation, however. The culture here virtually forces you to downgrade your expectations to the point where when locals are involved you must take it one thing at a time. Schedule something at 2:00 and at 4:00, for example, and you are instantly doomed. The appointment at 2 is maybe happening and the 4 o'clock---fuggidaboudit.
So there you have it. Dr. Eddsaid's Miracle Cure for Dementia. It's absolutely free, but there's still a steep price to pay--having the willingness to, in metaphysical terms. "let go and let God."
Step right up. Any takers?
PS. 8/12/2010 Amazingly a "real" article about this subject appears in USA Today the very next morning after the post: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-08-12-apamemory12_CV_N.htm
I'm not imagining this!!