Excuse me while I go train my brain

blogDSCN6801A crossword a day keeps the memory lapse away.   That’s been my motto for the last few years.

When you’re young, you can not wait to be an adult.  The older you get, the more you longingly reflect on the “good ol’ days” when you had more energy, more hair, less weight, and a mind like a steel trap instead of a sieve.

After I passed the threshold into the big five-oh decade, I found I was becoming more and more forgetful.  It was a different kind of memory lapse than what I sometimes experienced as a young mother trying to hold down the fort while hubby was traveling away from home out on the work battlefield.

One day back then my very wise mother informed me, while I was bemoaning about my forgetfulness, that my lack of memory was because I was too stressed and my calendar was too full.  She was right, as always!

Since becoming an empty nester,  stress didn’t seem the culprit to my ongoing lack of recall.  Oldest daughter suggested I work on crossword puzzles every day because she had read that doing so benefited your memory.

Easy enough to do, every day a crossword and a word search puzzle are printed in my daily hometown newspaper.   So sharpened pencils and erasers in hand, I made crosswords a practice in my daily routine, usually every evening.

At first, being unable to complete them frustrated me.  You might say I was puzzled, perplexed, bewildered, baffled and even a little bamboozled by these brainteasers.  But I consistently improved at them and my ailing memory started recuperating.

Apparently puzzles of all kinds are good stimuli for our brains.  Whether you prefer crosswords, word searches, Sudoku, anagrams, jigsaw, riddles, or logic puzzles, you give your brain a good work-out.   Go brain!

Even the Mayo Clinic reports that crossword puzzles help you stay mentally active and keep your mind sharp.  Evidently our brains require exercise to stay fit just like the muscles in our body do.

I don’t know who said it, but I’ve read that “Unused muscles go flabby, but an unexercised brain simply goes stupid.”  I’ll second that!  On more than one occasion, my brain has rendered me stupid.

But I’m not convinced I will buy into the latest trend which is, according to a report by a New York television station,   frequenting “brain gyms.”  You can actually find a “brain trainer” and pay him/her a fee to um…train your brain.  Uh, huh.

I think I’ll just stick to my daily puzzles that my newspaper provides.  It’s cheaper,  I don’t have to take my brain to the gym, or try to find brain-sized workout clothes, and I’m not letting anyone mess with my mind.  Enough people try to do that already!

I’ve read that the famous author, mathematician, and logician Lewis Carroll, who wrote Alice in Wonderland, was fascinated by puns, acrostics, anagram, riddles, mathematical games, and puzzles.  I’m wondering if perhaps he didn’t stimulate his brain just a wee bit too much though.   He did compose such things as this in his poem “Jabberwocky:”

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Sooooooo……..I’ve persuaded myself into thinking that since I probably stimulate my brain adequately with crossword puzzles, word searches, and writing this blog, I can most likely forgo hiring a brain trainer.  My personal brain gym can be right here in the privacy of my own family room.

Now I really must go because blogging has put me behind in my other regimen of brain training – there’s a stack of crossword puzzles waiting to be solved on my coffee table.   Brain, I’m gonna pump you up!

One last thought though.  If I start blogging about the time I was  “scandufulous and jampifed” or that my cat did “flumdiferously  woobleate”  you’ll let me know,  won’t you??

Because Lewis Carroll, I am not.

©2010 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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2 responses

  1. We were just talking this morning about the benefit of crossword puzzles–they cause us to use the function of bringing information from the back of the brain up to the front. We know elderly who have only read books and watched TV, neither of which actually use this function. And the results are evident. GO, girl.

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