Wednesday Bubble: this is your brain on midlife

Posted by on Mar 31, 2010 in memory/learning | 13 comments

Got brain? If you still have yours’, maybe you’ve seen mine also.

I’ve noticed that as the days and weeks pass, my recall seems to be declining. I remain uncertain as to the cause – is it overload, life or declining hormones? Has middle age truly taken my brain? If so, I’ve got a small but important request for the universal goddesses: I’d like it back.

Just last week I received an important notice from the New York State Division of Taxation with approval to dissolve my Corporation. Any of you who know me or know of my former company know that this has been a drawn-out and arduous process. But I got the letter! And permission for closure. The thing is…I lost it.

Perhaps it’s in the black hole of all things Liz, amongst single earrings, lone socks and that piece of family jewelry that I’ve been looking for for over a year now. Maybe I threw it out; I have a genetic disease that I refer to as ‘anti-hoarder syndrome or AHS,’ as in, “I must discard any bit of clutter that enters my humble abode.” (My father has this illness so it resonates deeply with me, irritatingly so I  might add.) Or maybe, it’s sitting in that pile that I’ve gone through about 15 times and will bare its ugly head once I receive its replacement.

If you’re wondering what this has to do with bubbles or bursting illusions, well I’d like to take a stab at one that’s been bothering me for some time now; memory in midlife (aka, your brain on midlife). Researchers who specialize in women’s health and menopause have been consistent in their attempts to decipher the ever-present mind meltdown, attributing it to declining testosterone, a loss of the brain’s gray matter or as I suspect, stress. Yet, regardless of its cause, I am becoming increasingly aware of its presence and the fact that its become a part of who I am.

Whether I am entering a room with a mission or surfing the web, I seem to constantly arrive without my original purpose and then stand (or sit) there desperately seeking the key as to why I went there in the first place. Typically, that key reappears during inopportune times when the goal has lost its relevance, or when I am nowhere near a computer or a room to complete the task.

This is my brain on midlife. Forgetful, spacey, devoid of information. A blank bubble lingering above my head.

Truly, if you run across it, can you send it home?


  1. 3-31-2010

    I try to have a sense of humor about this but yes, it’s frustrating. I’ve started doing three things because I’m not quite ready to just accept it’s who I am (denial?!? Maybe)

    1) really learning how to better apply GTD principles

    2) I play more…how many times do we need to read articles about challenging ourselves before we do it?

    3) B-12 seems to be helping also

    meh, I feel better in the process anyhow. That counts for something, no?

    • 3-31-2010

      I love the idea of play. It’s so essential. And great for focusing creatively!

  2. 3-31-2010

    AHS. That made me LMAO.
    Good post! I’m working on less multitasking – in hopes it helps my focus and memory. Wish me luck!

    • 3-31-2010

      Just ask A about AHS. And good luck – I prolly need a dose of that myself. Less.

  3. 3-31-2010

    Misery loves company, and it makes me feel 100 percent better when I hear that others can’t remember squat either. Great post, and if our minds should cross, send mine back to me too.

    • 3-31-2010

      Ah honey, let’s be happy (and forgetful) together then.

  4. 3-31-2010

    Sometimes stress takes over for all of us. It sounds like you need a break. Take care!

    • 3-31-2010

      Thanks Cascia. It does, doesn’t it?!

  5. 3-31-2010

    I’ll give you back yours if you give me back mine! I’ve come to accept the fact that my mind is playing mean tricks on me. Sad, but true. That doesn’t mean I don’t fight it with some strategies of my own – list-making, constant reminders to myself (ugh. I’ve started talking out loud to myself!), and attempts (ill-fated as they may be) to do less multi-tasking.

    • 3-31-2010

      This seems to be a theme today – less multi tasking. So, does this mean that we are all overloaded? The mind is a terrible thing to waste…I swear, I didn’t do it on purpose!

  6. 3-31-2010

    I love this post! It makes me feel less insane. 🙂

    Liz, I’m going to post a link to this at the Facebook Fan Page for the International Alliance of Midlife Women (IAMWomen) at I’d love to have you join us there!

    Meanwhile, thanks for a great post. I’m breathing a sigh of yay-I’m-not-alone relief!

    • 4-1-2010

      Thank you Laura – really appreciate it. And you are definitely not alone!

  7. 4-7-2010

    Wow, I had planned on reading this post earlier, but kept forgetting. . . So glad I’m not alone. What’s helped me is that the family has accepted that I can’t remember crap, and so they just shrug it off, maybe even taking over some of the jobs I used to do for them in return . . Although not fun when they try to create things you’ve forgotten. “You know, mom, you said…..” That just makes me feel like I will be needing a special soft padded room before long!


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