Fear of Food
GRAY MATTERS: Of Death Panels and Palliative Care

Let Me Tell You About Getting Old

EDITORIAL NOTE: There is another new entry at Where Elders Blog. She is June Calendar (wonderful name) and you can see her page here. And here are instructions to add a photo of your computer place. Feel free.

category_bug_journal2.gif As we often say, Bette Davis knew whereof she spoke when she said, “Old age ain't for sissies.” She had the throw pillow with that original saying made when, in a 13-month period, she went through a double mastectomy, a stroke and a broken collarbone.

We all hope we won't face any of the possible serious diseases and conditions the accumulation of years might inflict upon us – and certainly not so many in such a short space of time as hit that brave woman. But there are plenty of less debilitating – and sometimes demeaning - afflictions we are required to navigate and make the best of. To name a few:

  • Being put out to pasture from the workforce before we intended
  • Crossing that divide from mid-age to invisibility
  • Mysterious aches and pains with no apparent cause or remedy
  • Falling asleep during a movie no matter how good it is
  • Being seated at a table near the rest room even when the restaurant is all but empty
  • Being referred to as “dearie” by way too many young people
  • Listening to a mean-spirited former senator compare elders to cows

None of what you've just read matters. It is all just a delaying action before getting to this one:

  • Repeated embarrassment due to short-term memory problems

On Monday, I admitted to being embarrassed about how long it had taken me to update the Elderbloggers List. That lapse had nothing to do with memory and everything to do with laziness.

But now I must cop to a more embarrassing shortcoming. I put a great deal of effort into updating that list – it's not something one would forget, or so I thought.

I spent most of a day cleaning the list of abandoned blogs, adding new ones alphabetically and coding it all into html. Then I wrote the accompanying story for Monday and set it to post automatically at 5:30AM.

I carefully saved the new html document to my temporary file, where I keep things I will need in the near future, ready to copy and paste onto its page on Monday morning so that you, dear readers, would have that new list ready to use with the announcement of it.

Then, because I know my short-term memory is non-existent, I wrote a note to myself – in red, block letters on my Monday to-do list – to post that new List first thing.

Here's what I now recall about Monday morning: brushed my teeth, turned on the computer, fed the cat, started the electric tea kettle, checked email, made the coffee, READ THE TO-DO LIST – and got on with the day. A little later, in a rare fit of computer housekeeping, I deleted all the files in my temporary file.

Throughout the day, I neatly checked off everything on the to-do list WITHOUT EVER AGAIN SEEING THE BIG RED NOTE at the top of the page. Somehow, my eyes went right past it. For the rest of the week, I was happy in my ignorance, and pleased with myself that I'd gotten that list so neat and tidy.

That is, until yesterday when I needed to track down a certain elderblog. I went to that shiny, new list online and was horrified to see, instead, all those abandoned blogs and none of the new ones.

Did you catch my other memory mistake three paragraphs up? Yes? No? Here it is in its utter stupidity: the new list had been in the now-deleted temporary file.

Ooph - you know that feeling when something has gone terribly wrong and there is nothing you can do about it? And then you realize, too, it's all your own fault?

Look at it and weep for me; all that list work now needs to be repeated.

So not only has my short-term memory turned to crap – I already knew that – but now I must think up a new way to remind myself of important things that is better than the big, fat, red notes I've used for decades.

It ain't easy getting old.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, D. Sugar: Animal Husbandry???


There HAS to be a way to recover your list. Call Virginia Debolt!

These things happen to the best of us and you are one of the best. I wanted to do this right away just in case I forgot to do it later!

As long as you remember to feed the cat, nothing else really matters, and I'm pretty sure Ollie won't let you forget so everything is fine.

Oh this is my life writ large, Ronni.
Too many lists. Big red notes that my eyes don't see - another colour perhaps, nah.
Short term memory is a thing of the past, I forget faces now too of people that have engaged me in conversation a month ago.
We need to back up more in every sense of the word. Even temporary files. Even notes of important meetings that could matter down the road.
Our head files are bursting at the seams.

"Cacklin' like a chicken", says my hubby. Got my morning jollies. Been there, done that. How about tying a string around your finger??

Ah Dearie you know you're preaching to the choir.

What about posting the reminder on Ollie's food bag (or can)or IN his food bowl so that you have to take it out to fill it. Of course, you might just set it aside to do after feeding the cat and then we know what happens..
What about right on the screen so that you can't see the screen without seeing the message.
Shoulders down and knuckles dragging...

I'm with Faith, there must be a way to recover that list. With computers files, as Yogi Berra once said, it ain't over till it's over.

As 'Fibber' would have said,"Tain't funny McGee". (That's a comment for the very elderly because the young one's won't get it.)

I have spent hours writing a post for my blog or answering an email with a very long reply only to somehow lose the whole thing. At times I forget to save it and go to another page to research something. It just flies off into cyberspace and I can never find it again. Or I hit 'delete' when I mean to hit 'bold' after highlighting it.

Yep, Bette had it right. I spend a lot of time talking to myself and I am usually saying, "Stupid, stupid, stupid".

Didn't Molly say that to Fibber, Darlene? I love the old radio shows.

My Mom used to use that phrase, "Tain't funny, McGee," and I've picked it up. Fortunately, I mostly say it to my dog, who gets everything I say!

Ask us to remind you. Have a reminder notice that pops up here first....on your computer first, and post-it's everywhere.

Last week I forgot to put anything in my calendar. LOL I did update the 6th and the 11th tho.

PS: save to your word, back up hard drive, and your external backup hard drive too. :)

Oh, I feel your pain. I have deleted a brilliant post, walked past boxes set in front of the door as reminders, left frozen food in the trunk and driven past G'ma's house and forgotten to go in -- all in the last week.

I'd like to think that my mind was better occupied with more important things, but that would be a lie. The fact is, I forget and ignore more than I used to. It helps to know I am not alone.

Poor Ronni. Poor Poor Ronni.

I got a major panic attack yesterday when I couldn't find my little aqua spiral binder I keep in my purse always. That spiral contains my brain.

I had removed it sometime last week to have access to all my account numbers and passwords to pay bills electronically.

Then, yesteday, upon needing to pay another bill, it was not to be found.

I about puked.

I thought I looked everywhere, but saint Kman found it peeking just barely from beneath my Kindle that I had plugged in to recharge and plopped on top of said book/brain.

Big relief, big slap to the forehead with the usual self-admonishment "stupid".

Sorry for your woes. Do I ever empathize.

I forgot the rest -

Ah! The comfort of being in such good company! Dee

I agree with Virginia. Most data can be recovered these days--although it'll probably cost you. Anyway, I can attest that deleting data inadvertently isn't necessarily related to age. I was somewhere in my 40s and word-processing was still quite new to me. I had just spent a couple of weeks writing an entire policy manual for my NPO in WordPerfect (remember WP?) I left the computer for a few minutes and when I came back, the whole thing had VANISHED.

Unlike you, Ronni, I had completely neglected to save my work, but I'll never know what caused it to simply disappear--phfft! I wish I could say that I'd learned a permanent lesson, but I've committed similar errors a few times since. In fact, I deleted a brilliant (purely my personal opinion) political post fairly recently. Misfiling, I must confess, happens more often now than it once did. Like Darlene, I spend time talking to myself in unflattering terminology.

I SO feel for you having to reassemble such a lengthy list. One thing you can probably count on: that specific mistake is unlikely to be repeated.

Welcome to my world. Forever, if I even think about an item on my written list, it is automatically checked off on my mental list - never to be seen, again!

I send myself emails or leave voice messages for myself (which works if one has more than one phone line available). Before retirement, if I woke during the night with a brilliant solution to a work problem, I called myself at work to leave a message.
Hang in there!

If you just hit Delete it should be in your recycle bin and you can recover it. If it was shift Delete, well, bye bye document.

I always completely ignore notes in large red letters or black for that matter. I totally never see headlines either. Hmmm where does one go from here to get attention.

Been there; done that; don't need no steenking T-shirt!!! LOL

When I do things like lose something on my computer I do a system restore. Turn back the clock on your hard drive to before you deleted the temporary files. I'm not sure if it will work but you might want to try that. Save anything you have added since to a jump, perhaps...You have my sympathy, Ronni. I hate when stuff like that happens.

Thank you for the wonderful service you perform with this site and maintaining the elderblog roll. Such housekeeping tasks are often thankless, and I am sorry that you have to tackle this all over again.

i am so happy to be in such good, fun, forgetful company!

My mother who is 90 told me, "It's not going to get any better" when we were talking about things we forget. Oh well. We're in good company if we can remember each other! LOL

Seems that like you, Ronni, I especially tend to oops when it comes to computer files. Last week I deleted a healthy chunk of a presentation in a fit of "housecleaning." I'm trying to convince myself it was better writing the second time around.

I'd give an "Amen" to eema and Joy D's comments - we're all in very good company!

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