Meaning that today is my 69th birthday. My first thought is, where has all the time gone? Time not just flies, it flies supersonically. I can use the marvelous time travel machine in my brain, my memory, and almost instantaneously travel back to when I was four years old or to any other specific time in my life. The purpose of memory as a time travel machine is for us to use what we have experienced and learned in our pasts and project it into our future plans and actions. It is here that memories can disappoint. Too often I have failed to use information from my past in the future. That is, I have failed to use lessons learned. I have no idea how much longer I shall live. It is highly doubtful that it will be for another 69 years. I have already outlived my father and my brother. My mother made it into here 100th year. Unfortunately, she was plagued with dementia for the last several years of her life.
It is my goal to avoid dementia and to continue to grow cognitively the remaining years of my life. Recent research, which will be posted in the next healthymemory blog post, found that “Crystalized Intelligence,” a measure of accumulated knowledge, doesn’t peak until people are in their late 60’s or 70’s. Now these are average data. There are individuals whose crystalized intelligence either peaks later or when they die.
So how can this potential be enhanced? That is the question to which the healthymemory blog is devoted, and the first answer is not to wait. Regardless of age, engage in the practices and advice of the healthymemory blog. There is an overwhelming amount of advice and number of practices, so choose those with which you are compatible and continue to read this blog.
Perhaps first and foremost is the importance of ikigai. Ikigai is a Japanese word, which roughly translated means “the reason to get up in the morning.” In other words, have reasons for living. Knowing your purpose(s) in life is important to your well being. Research has indicated that having a regular job decreases the probability of suffering from dementia. Consequently, I continue working at my regular job. Still I need to consider whether I am better off continuing at this job, and getting up extremely early in the morning, or pursuing other activities that might be more beneficial cognitively. In doing so, I need to draw upon my time travel machine, my memory, to be sure that I am not ignoring any lessons learned when making my decision.
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