November 9, 2010

The global view

I've always prided myself on my ability to scan information and grasp the big picture - like a hawk circling on high, I always seemed to be able to see patterns and goals and obstacles clearly.
This just isn't working any more for me.
It's come on slowly, sneakily.  First, I've lost the ability to read medical studies and grasp them without several go-overs. Now I find it harder and harder to see patterns in Scrabble or to figure out spatial problems or see things in a holistic way. Driving becomes a series of small steps, trying to organize my finances slips away.  It's not that I'm becoming senile or anything, I think.  I just seem to have a bit of a traffic snarl in the part of my brain that follows patterns through.
On the good side, I forget stories that I've read almost immediately, so I can reread them again and again. On the bad side, I have 40 packages of spaghetti in my cupboard. I know I should make a list. But that's admitting there's a problem.
I find it frustrating to be losing my analytical ability, my big picture thinking, my sense of global understanding. Of course, maybe I was just fooling myself that I had those abilities, but my degrees say no...
Practically speaking, maybe it means I should concentrate on short stories instead of novels for writing, focus on simpler tasks, do brain training, keep up with the exercise. All I know is that the thought of ever having to manage a workday again seems impossible. How would I keep track of all the things I had to do?
Oh, and also on the positive side, my wobblies are back, so I have the advantage of looking vaguely drunk if I don't concentrate on walking. Saves on actually having to buy the booze!

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