Where Did I Put Those Brain Cells?

In recent years, I’ve learned that I actually do have limitations. For a multi-tasker/control freak, this was NOT an easy lesson to learn. I don’t believe this has always been the case since I had no problem keeping a multitude of balls, knives, and flaming batons in the air back in my younger days.

In my twenties, I could do anything. In my thirties I realized I’d done nothing in my twenties compared to what would be demanded of me in my third decade. Now that I’m turning forty (in two weeks – let’s not rush it) I’m afraid it’s all downhill from here.

In September, I finished my second full length manuscript. To do it, I had to block out everything else. No television. No reading. No free time. I’d say no social life but I don’t have one of those anyway. Then I had to prepare said manuscript for entrance in the Golden Heart contest. Again, I focused in and got it done.

Then the holidays kicked in. And the planning of my company holiday party cranked into high gear. But I still wanted to write a short story and it would be under 15K; I could turn it out in December and go back to revisions come January 1.

The problem is, my brain has not reacted well to this round of multi-tasking. In fact, she’s gone on strike. There is no focus. No retention of information. I’m not even sure she’s still in my head. It’s entirely possible she’s sunning herself on a sandy beach somewhere knocking back pina coladas and working her feminine wiles on some young cabana boy.

Which would mean my brain has been holding out on me for years, but since I can’t focus, I doubt I’ll remember to confront her about this.

The party has come and gone and I’m *this* close to being ready for Christmas. The house is decorated and the presents I do have are wrapped. I believe my brain is finally coming back. This morning I managed to cross four major items off my to-do list and still make it to the office by noon.

This is a good sign. Because it would seem when my brain goes on strike, it’s the writing (and blogging) that takes the hit. And that’s something I can’t afford to ignore. I’m tempted to add that Ginko stuff to my daily routine, but you know the old saying. I doubt I’d remember to take it!

Anyone ever tried focusing techniques that work? Would yoga offer benefits in this area? Meditation CDs? Maybe playing the sound of a waterfall in the background? I’ll try anything (except eating vegetables.)

11 thoughts on “Where Did I Put Those Brain Cells?”

  1. I miss doing yoga. It was really quite relaxing, and this is coming from a normally high-strung individual.
    Take heart. The holidays can’t last forever. In another few weeks, we’ll be back to normal.

  2. Terri Osburn says:

    I’m going to have to hunt up a beginner DVD. Everytime I’ve tried one that said beginner, it’s gone right into moves I’ve never heard of and positions I could never do. I don’t think “beginner” means the same to these people as it means to me.
    And that’s what I’m hoping. That once the holidays (which I do enjoy) are over, I’ll get my focus back. I hate this feeling like my head is floating and empty.

  3. What’s a brain cell?
    You and Scape write these blogs in tandem or something?
    Really, I need to start making lists, but then again, I’d probably forget where I put them…
    I need to get back to meditation/yoga and I’m thinking about pilates for my back…
    You know, in my free time…

  4. Terri, your brain must be related to mine — I was writing a similar post like this today. 🙂 Our brains have their own way of doing things, and they’re definitely in control of us. LOL I’ve tried yoga and meditation stuff, but my mind wanders. It’s just that kind of brain. LOL

  5. Terri Osburn says:

    You’d have plenty of time, Mo. You know, if you SET A SCHEDULE. LOL! I HAVE to have structure and a schedule. Which is funny since I love change. LOL! Provided it happens on weekends and I have enough time to prepare.
    Donna – I think it feels worse because I can remember September and October when my brain was working like a well-oiled machine. HOW did one month send that machine completely off the tracks??

  6. Irisheyes says:

    Gah!!! Just lost my whole response!
    Short and sweet – I’m with you on the brain power deterioration. I was sharp as a tac when I was younger – not so much anymore. I used to think that whole growing old and senile thing was a little silly and now I’m living it. That’s what I get for being a snot nosed little punk feeling superior to my elders. LOL
    The thing that really gets me is when I can’t pull an ordinary word like “table” or “blanket” out of my head. It’s not like I’m practicing rocket science or anything just trying to communicate with a couple of teens and a slightly worse off (brain power-wise) hubby. Very frustrating.
    I’m going holistic and homeopathic. I’ve been taking Omega-3, Vitamin D, B-12 and just started a superfoods supplement. My older sister is looking into that supplement John Tesh is always talking about on his radio program – can’t think of the name of it. If you can solve it with a pill, I’m all over that!

  7. Terri Osburn says:

    Sorry about the eaten comment!
    I hate this lost feeling, Irish. And I’m having that same problem. Simple words excape me. WTH is that about??? I already take Vit D for a deficiency, but many supplements like you mention give me adverse side effects.
    Multivitamins give me acne. Took something earlier this year that made my throat swell. Some don’t play well with my system. Haven’t tried the Omega-3. Does that have any side effects? How much do you take?

  8. Irisheyes says:

    Omega-3 is the fish oil, which is suppose to help with brain power. My whole family takes it – even the kids. I buy it from Puritan’s Pride and I take 2,000 mgs/day.
    I’ve been reading up on a lot of this stuff over the past couple of years along with consulting with my doctor. I keep hearing that Americans are super low in Vitamin D and Omega-3. The DH got tested for Vit. D last spring and it was so low they could barely find any in his system. He’s been on mega-doses since then and it’s finally close to normal.
    My one sister got her masters in health education and has been into this stuff since the 80’s. My other sister and a brother went Vegan about 25 years ago and are huge into homeopathic cures. So I feel like I’ve got personal consultants on a lot of this stuff. In fact, I consult them before most professionals. LOL
    They are all a bit older than I am so I kind of get to see where I’ll be in the future. Kind of like my own guinea pigs. LOL

  9. Terri Osburn says:

    Been about 2 years since they found my Vit D deficiency. I had half the amount I should have had. Started me on like 15K I/U a day and now I’m level at 3000 I/U a day. But if I forget them for a couple days, I know it.
    I’ve been hearing ads for an Omega-3 that claims to be less “oily”. I have extremely oily skin and hair so the last thing I need is to add more. There’s a new supplements store near my house. I’ll have to see what they have.
    Nice to have that kind of expertise at hand. I’m not a fan of taking medications, but more natural solutions sound good to me.

  10. Melissa Johnson says:

    I don’t think we forget things so much as move on. I know my mind rebels with multi-tasking because I don’t like to shift gears. It’s not just shifting gears from one task to another, it’s getting into (or back into) the right frame of mind for something when I’ve moved on. I just finished finals and I swear whoever took notes earlier in the semester forged my handwriting! A lot has gone on since then and the more we multi-task, the more we need to filter. The old stuff will come back, it just needs a nudge.
    My big thing to stop my mind wandering for studying has been index cards. I have to write my notes out in a different form to trick my mind into thinking it’s something new or a game. The Jeopardy format of inventing my own questions works for me. I think it’s all about keeping things small.
    As for writing, I finally have a break and wrote all day yesterday on a new story. I guess none of what I just said above had anything to do with why I could focus. LOL Maybe the keeping it new part. 🙂

  11. Terri Osburn says:

    Any and all feedback welcome, Melissa. I’ve wondered about the “keep it new” part. To this end, I’ve moved my desk around and changed where I write. Doesn’t seem to make a difference this time. It’s like that tree and those presents and the laundry and insane mess that is covering my house are too much for my brain to handle.
    As a matter of fact, I know that’s a huge part of this. Clutter stops me up completely. I don’t know if it’s blocking my chi or brainwaves or what, but decluttering has to move to the top of my to-do list.

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