Tuesday, March 29, 2016

That Damn Door






Spring!  That is such a wonderful word, and I am doing OK.

I have read, and so much want to believe, that walking through doorways plays with one's mind. This assures me that it is not my brain, but rather the fault of the architect who built my house who has caused me to question my sanity. In an article in Scientific America, researches at the University of  Notre Dame tested subjects (absent minded professors, perhaps) and found that the doorway effect suggests that there is more to remembering than just what you paid attention to, when it happened and how hard you tried.  They point out that some forms of memory have a shelf life and the brain purges that information in favor of new stuff.  They call this kind of memory representation an "Event Model", and propose that walking through a doorway is a good time to purge your event models because whatever happened in the old room is likely to become less relevant now that the venues have changed.  This seems similar to my pantry, where dusty jars of spices (I only needed one teaspoon) and cans of olives purchased for a long ago party, find their way to the back and are forgotten about.  I am fortunate to live in a home whose main floor is very open and rooms flow into each other, except, of course, the bathroom. So far, I have not forgotten what my mission is when entering through that door.  It is, however, when I go upstairs and downstairs that the problem seems to arise.  Doorways abound and I am left with the question, "What am I doing here".  I then run back to where I was and look for a hint of what my mission was.  It usually comes back to me but then I have to huff and puff all the way back up and down the stairs and a decision is made as to whether it is worth it.  On days of ambition, I might do it.

So maybe the answer to my brain farts is to move into a one floor, one room house.  Less doors, no stairs, and maybe there will be more room in my mind to store information that will help me find my glasses.

58 comments:

  1. How nice to hear that someone else marches purposefully into a room, reaches the middle and wonders why. I wish I didn't, but I do.
    Doors are tricky beasts. I often have bruises on my upper arms where the door jambs leap out and attack me as I go through...

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    1. I have been hit it the head a few times by a door. The results are obvious.

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  2. I have long used the technique of walking through a doorway to remember some detail of the past --who portrayed Grampa McCoy? What the heck was I just reading about an "Event Model"? But here, I have just walked out and back in through a doorway as a demonstration: Walter Brennan was an Event Model on "The Real McCoys".

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    1. Geo, I always got him mixed up with Gabby Hayes. Even then, I was confused.

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    2. Just remember, Brennan walked with his elbows sticking out sideways and Hayes called us "Lil Buckeroosh".

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    3. Ah, I remember Lil Buckeoosh or something like that and Walter Brennan's falsetto voice. They usually played "faithful companions". You don't hear much about that anymore.

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  3. People pay a lot of money for stair machines and step workouts, to tighten the thighs, the butt, and the wallet of the seller...
    We have our own stair machines, for free.
    I have a front staircase and a back one; the food and the woodstove is downstairs, the computer, the bed, and the bathroom is upstairs. I also, as Betty White so wonderfully said, have a lousy memory, and spend most of my time hurtling back down the stairs to retrieve the book, the coffee, the eyeglasses that I need upstairs.

    All that exercise, for free. (smiles)

    I love that photo, btw.

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    1. Yes Mittens, looking for our things does keep us moving.

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  4. In our house there is only ONE internal door... to the bathroom.

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    1. I like my bedrooms to have doors, even if they drive me crazy.

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  5. I have only two doors and no stairs here in my cabin...so I'm okay.

    Now! What was my comment going to be...hmmmmmmm.....;)

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  6. Oh gee, glad I'm not the only one. I'm beginning to wonder if I should start caring a pen and small paper pad and just surrender to making never ending lists of what I should do next. The whole "doorway/venue" theme in your post is so relevant to retirement.

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    1. I like that I now have something to blame on my short term memory problems.

      I do notes also, but like you, I forget to take them with me.

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  7. I make a little list everyday of things I need to do each day and when I leave the house, it always seems to be left behind. I also forget when coming inside after letting my dog into the fenced yard, that she needs to come back in at some point. Luckily I have a kitten to remind me of the last one. He paws at the door when he decides the dog must come back in and play.

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    1. It sounds like you have a routine that works for you. I love that the dog needs to rely on the cat to get back in the house.

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  8. It's a relief to find out it's the 'doors' and not 'me'!

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  9. When we move we will consider stairs and doors. Doors have to accept their responsibility in the human condition .

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    1. You are absolutely right, Susan. Meanwhile, I will use them as an excuse for my forgetfulness. They can't talk back.

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  10. I am well impressed that you keep up to date with the serious scientific journals! I am also pleased to see that many others have that 'forgetting what I went up the stairs or through the door for' moment....
    Funnily enough my wife and I were just talking about a giant jar of ground cinnamon that we bought in Costco. It will take us centuries to use it all but she says it costs only slightly more than a small jar in a local supermarket.
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. I read it on the Internet where we know that all things written are true. I am not a subscriber to the magazine.

      Costco does sell many of their products in large amounts but the price is so good that I buy it. However, I seldom use it all before its shelf life expires. Dried spices are so overpriced in the small containers, that your wife is probably right that it is a better bargain at Costco.

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  11. Doors leading to food cause me all sorts of problems. I either stare and stare wondering what it was I was planning to remove, or give up and take the chocolate.

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    1. Oh, I love that! I'd rather like to have, 'Give up and take the chocolate' printed on a t-shirt.

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  12. Lucky you, having only doors to contend with. Because of the puppy, we have 2 child gates to negotiate into and out of the kitchen, which really throws the proverbial spanner into the works, and even if I can remember what I am looking for I have bruises to remind me!

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    1. We went through this last year with our kitten. We blocked everything off not realizing that cats can jump really high. Now things have calmed down and we can once more walk without fear of tripping over something, including a very fast kitten.

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  13. Awww..so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for coming to see me at my porch! What have you been up to?

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    1. I am getting ready for spring or thinking about getting ready for spring. The tasks ahead of me seem daunting this year.

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  14. I often stand in a brainless fashion in the middle of a room refusing to retrace my steps although knowing that if I did so I would immediately remember what I was supposed to be fetching. At least i now know that I'm not alone!

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    1. It is so frustrating! Like you said though, it happens to us all and there is some solace there.

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  15. This happens to me constantly (my husband too). I used to think it was just age, but now I think it's due to thinking about too many things at once. We're all multi-tasking now. Doing things one at a time is too "slow" for the modern us. But if you have 50 things in your brain, some of it's bound to fall out! LOL Have a great weekend (and I LOVE the blossoms pic on your header!)

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    1. Unfortunately, I don't multitask that much anymore, so I don't have that excuse.

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  16. You are One Cool Lady!!!!

    I've been having fun, reading your posted words.

    In fact, you would be purrrfect, if not for one thing... You have way too great a figure, for a person of 'A Certain Age.' >,-))))

    Needless to say, my figure went south, quite a while ago. So I managed to find the one pic of you. And pout. Because it isn't fair. -stamping foot- -grinnnnn-

    Keep on keeping on, Dear. Since you retired, not that long ago, you have a lot of "keeping on" to do.

    Myself, I just turned 79. But I have every intention of "keeping going on" for quite a long time. :-)

    Gentle hugs,
    Tessa

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  17. Great post and just in time for me because I'm looking for a brain transplant. That's right. Just loosen the Velcro holding my brains in and shove in new brains. It's nice to know someone else has memory problems too.

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    1. It might be hard to find a brain that has not been been afflicted with "what am I looking for" syndrome.

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  18. Story of my life. I live in three rooms and have three doorways, but I can also forget things just by turning around in the same room. Now I understand why. Great post!

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    1. We seem to all be in that room. My short term memory is getting shorter every day.

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  19. Well that's it, from now on I'm blaming the damn doors! Who knew? All this time I thought it was me!

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    1. Like the politicians, we can blame anybody or anything else for our failures. It works for them, why not the rest of us.

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  20. Well, if you huffed and puffed up the stairs, you would get some exercise.... Seriously though, now I know it's the door, not my brain. So good to know this.

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  21. I totally relate to your post too!
    I'm finding the stairs tiresome now for the very same reason.
    However I think of it as 'good exercise' that I otherwise would avoid!
    Our next move will be a home on one level for sure!
    It makes it so much better knowing that you are doing this too ha ha!!!

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    1. I never mind the exercise of walking the stairs unless I have done it for a reason I forget.

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  22. Arleen, Thank goodness you remember your mission when you enter a bathroom! This was so much fun from beginning to end! Your last line about the glasses is a classic!

    Julie

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    1. The toilet and sink are good hints, Julie. I am happy that they are not large rooms with closets and such to confuse me.

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  23. What if you used post-its to label each door? We are moving to a one story house, only a few doors, and have a housekeeper clean it twice a month.

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    1. That sounds like a good plan, Susan. I especially like the bi-monthly house cleaner.

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  24. Thanks for visiting me again and for all the kind comments you leave me! Always so nice to log on and see friendly souls have been there isnt it? What do yall have going on this weekend?

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  25. sometimes change is a good thing,, although not all of us accept it,, if you find change exciting go for it! A new smaller place is challenging at first but I love it now,, I like having less stuff, having just what I need and love works well for me, you really made me laugh when you said you still remember what the bathroom door leads too, and brain farts,, oh my gosh thats funny!!lol,,,,,take care,,

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    1. Well, I think there is no choice but to accept change and but we don't always have to like it. I hate forgetting things, but the best way to deal with it, for me, is to laugh at it. Thanks so much for your comment.

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  26. Oh my-- I've been there-- so many times! I think we all have. I even do it at work-- will walk into the supply room and forget what I came for!! Guess we just have to laugh about it...

    I love that photo of all the doors on the wall!!
    Love
    Vicki

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  27. Oh my goodness, "event model" you say? Hmm, it's as good a reason as any I could come up with for why I can't remember what I left one room for and entered another in search of ???.
    I love doors, all kinds, and the older and more interesting they are, the more I love them. And, I prefer open doors - I always feel a little claustrophobic when I have to close a door.
    This memory loss, whether temporary or of a longer duration, is unsettling. It's nice to have another reason besides aging to blame it on!
    BTW - thank you for your lovely comments on my blog recently! So glad you are enjoying your kitty, too!

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  28. Glad you came by... Yep our weekend was nice---very low key. How was yours? We grilled out and it was good. I wish this weather would last all summer!! And not get hot

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  29. The benefit of being retired is that it doesn't matter what you were going into the other room for. Sooner or later you'll remember and can go back. I love that I'm no longer in a rush to do anything and just get things done when I get around to it. I'm not experiencing any of the going through doors memory fluctuations while camping in our trailer...it's too small. I can see everything from where I'm sitting.

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  30. I do the same as you and retreat back to the starting point and mentally kick myself until I remember what I was looking for. Today I couldn't find a shoe and couldn't send my son to school in bare feet. Looked and looked. Then Liam said, "Oh! I know where my shoe is," and went to a whole other room. So, sometimes it's kids that are the brain fart issue, and not us.

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