Failing or ageing?

Note: I realize I’ve spelled ‘ageing’ the British way though I’m American. And while I like to say us Americans have perfected their language (as a joke of course), I still have to suck it up on occasion and accept their written grammar/spelling is far more proper than ours.

Before I plunge into my innermost thoughts on failing and/or ageing, I would like to preface this post with sincere gratitude. During the extended ‘pauses’ in my blog I often receive emails from readers who want to know where I am, why I’m not blogging, and when or if I will start again. So appreciated. However, this time I received an email not only asking those questions, but genuinely expressing their appreciation for my words and explaining how my experiences have been motivating on many levels. You have no idea how much this means to me. Thank you.

So yeah, failing or ageing?

This morning I was reading through some of my previous posts in hopes of finding some ‘blogspiration’ (was that cute or what?) and found myself motivated by my own words; I was lively, alive, embracing the world, and doing stuff! Regardless of how small that stuff was, I was doing it. And from what I read, doing it rather well.

So what’s changed?

Recently I’ve discovered a lack of motivation due to frustration. Not so long ago I didn’t even require an alarm clock. I told myself what time I needed to wake up and regardless of how few hours of sleep I would get I always seemed to be awake right on time. Also, for as long as I can remember I never required ‘lists’ for anything. I could do a week’s worth of grocery shopping and never once walk aimlessly up and down an aisle thinking, “Now what exactly am I here for?”. I might have a dozen tasks lined up for the day and not only did I remember every one of them but I was well prepared and organized. Now I almost forget where I’m going while on the road to get there and inevitably always left something behind at home. What’s happening to me? Am I simply becoming lazy? Am I not the successful person I once believed myself to be? Or is age taking its toll?

Furthermore, as I’ve mentioned on the blog, I had been working towards my MBA. Not for any particular reason as it wouldn’t have made a difference in my career, but it was a personal goal of mine. So no real pressure other than what I placed on myself. I found that I was enjoying the challenge of studying again — been a while since I was a student. Feeling my brain actually function on a different level, while sometimes painful, was quite fun. However, this summer I’m not enrolled in courses. Initially I blamed it on a recent medical procedure gone wrong which resulted in me being hospitalized for an extended period of time, but I’m better now… for the most part. Only now I seem to experience ‘brain fog’ tenfold.

I walk from one room to the next forgetting my purpose. I get dressed and prepared to go to the store and find myself standing in my living room wondering exactly where I was planning to go… and why! It’s frustrating beyond words and I genuinely have no answers. But beyond frustration is the toll it’s taking on my every day life. Because I find myself so flustered with confusion I simply quit. So that trip to the store, or the classes I intended to take, or the business meeting I arranged all end up cancelled, postponed, or simply missed. I can’t help but to think I’m caving into the ageing process and allowing myself to fail miserably. Where I once experienced a great deal of joy in my life I now find to be painful. I dread making plans as I am terrified I’ll forget them and even worse, let people down. It’s embarrassing. How do I explain to people my age and older that I’m ‘just getting forgetful’? Especially when they all seem to function as we did in our 20’s. Even now, I had a follow up sentence in my mind and as quickly as I read the previous sentence to ensure it was fitting… I forgot. So yeah, here’s a paragraph with no real summary attached.

My husband tells me to start relying more on my phone. And I have. Fortunately I have a phone which just allows me to talk as it takes notes and stores them away chronologically. Imagine my surprise when it says, “You have a meeting in 30 minutes” and I realize it’s a 45 minute drive and I haven’t even showered. I’ve learned to add notifications 24 hours in advance as well as 2 hours in advance on every reminder.

This coming from the woman who not so long ago didn’t even depend on an alarm clock.