|Image Credit: State Farm|
via Creative Commons
For being in my sixties, I have pretty good health. I attend between 12 and 15 (sometimes 18 ) classes a week at my local YMCA. I do a mix of cardio, stretching, and strength training. However, I am having trouble managing my cognition.
It's nothing serious. I am just realizing that I can no longer manage multiple projects without losing things, dropping items, or driving my car into brick frame next to the garage door (In April of this year, I thought I had put the car into park. Nope. I was too busy thinking about other things, and I need to focus on the immediate task at hand instead of living in my head. In June I left my groceries in my car overnight. Again, I was thinking about other things instead of grounding myself into the immediate moment.)
For the last couple of years, I have been juggling the following:
- Teaching classes as an adjunct for three different departments at two different universities.
- Once a year, teaching a section of first-year composition to 100 plus engineering students from Beijing.
- Volunteering at three venues: Girl Scouts, my church, and an aging & wellness organization.
- Writing for two blogs: this one and a faith-based literary journal (Segullah).
- Running the Twitter account for Segullah.
- Reading a book a week (one for book club, three for me).
- Reading about current events.
- Attending the gym nearly every day, sometimes 2, 3, or 4 classes per day.
- Running the house: bills, errands, cleaning, shopping, repairs.
- Taking care of our aging dog.
- Touching base with my adult children, including offering financial support.
- Maintaining relationships with extended family members and friends who live near and far, given that I have lived in 9 different states.
- And indulging in some guilty pleasures such as watching reality TV and British detective shows.
- Oh, eating, sleeping, grooming, and going to the doctor / dentist on the regular.
- I trimmed my Facebook back from 900+ friends to 300 to 100 to 30 to 3.
- I quit my book club. I find that my eyes and my brain are fatigued after reading off the computer screen to teach, so I have started listening to audiobooks. Honestly, I'm watching more television shows. It's less demanding on my cognition.
- I totally quit one of my volunteer assignments (aging and wellness committee), and I am phoning it in with the Girl Scouts. I am still very enthusiastic about teaching children 18 months to 3 years old (nursery children in the LDS Primary program). I teach them for an hour each Sunday. However, I come early to wipe everything down and to set up. I also think about the children all week so that I can adjust the activities for their interest and so that I can restructure activities to decrease conflict.
- I have told my employers that I will only teach online. I have found that to be less stressful. I do not have to drive to campus, and I do not have to cajole students to put down their phones or close tabs such as YouTube or Instagram.
- I have decided to start taking a trip a year instead of playing the martyr by staying home to manage the house, the kids (when they were minors), and the dog while my husband has been traveling to China, Hawaii, California, Utah, Illinois, Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Jamaica, England, and Israel over the years.
Last summer, one of my uncles died. He was only 13 years older than I. This was a shock for several reasons.