A “Senior’s Moment” or a Normal Brain Function?

They say that you know you are getting older when you stand in front of the open refrigerator door, asking life’s most profound theological question: “What am I here for?”

I have to confess that I do this sort of thing all the time. I will head off to some part of the house looking for something and then, by the time I get there, I cannot remember why I came. My daughter always says, “Mom, this is concerning!”

Or is it? I recently read a piece by John Valters Paintner in which he talks about doing this very same thing. He says that, interestingly, current scientific theory suggests that this may not simply be a “senior’s moment”, but rather a very normal part of brain function. In a book that he co-writes with his partner, Caroline Valters Painter, The Soul’s Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred, he writes:

When we walk across a threshold, a door or other barrier of some kind, our subconscious minds recognize that we are going from one environment to another. To prepare us for the possible dangers of a new space, our brains do a quick short-term memory dump in order to free up more active cerebral computing space so we can more quickly adapt and react to whatever we encounter….You aren’t losing your mind. It’s an evolutionary adaptation that allowed your ancestors to survive and you to be here now.

Don’t you just love that! That’s going to be my response going forward whenever any of my kids tease me about my “senior’s moments!”

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