Working the mind

Source: Clipartpanda

No puzzles here. I don’t do wordle or crossword or picture puzzles or any of those brain teasers old people are supposed to do to keep their mind active.

My version of brain activity is figuring out which cat is barfing where, also known as “don’t step on the hairball.” Or the current location of the beloved husband also known as “where the heck did he go now?”. I threaten to put a GPS on him so I can track him.

I also do recall games (I call them the litanies) like trying to recall six barista names from my local Starbucks (quite the challenge as the players change regularly and the names are…ummm…unusual) or the names of the dogs in my neighborhood. This gets tricky because people use obscure names for their kids and pets. You can’t yell out “Jim” or “Bob” and assume there is one. You would have better luck with Brayden or Jared or Toby (this is a popular dog name right now).

Another popular mind game for me is calculate the sale price. You see a percentage off sign and calculate the cost in your head. This is a lost art. Most people resort to their phone for the math. Not me. If it’s a shoe sale, I can do it in a nanosecond (years of experience at work here!).

As for games, I’ve always been a social player. I do it to chat with friends, not to win (although I can get competitive). I’ve had my third Mahjongg session. It’s fun and work. I’m calling it a brain exercise.

Blogging keeps my mind active too. Working to sanitize my essays so no feelings are hurt is a challenge. I need an anonymous blog for the good stuff. Wrestling with spellcheck and grammar check is a workout as taxing as a gym workout.

I don’t really know if any of this stuff matters. It seems like some people keep their act together and some people get wonky when they age all without rhyme or reason. It’s different strokes for different folks. How do you keep your brain active?

88 thoughts on “Working the mind

  1. I got on the New York Times’ Wordle train, but I never get too long of a winning streak so I don’t post my results like most people do on social media or on the NYT’s Wordle site. When you do Wordle there is the NYT’s Spelling Bee right beneath Wordle, so I do that as well. I also do “Word Wipe” once a day which I really like and three Klondike Solitaire games … the Solitaire I think of as a sorbet between boring stuff I have to do at work. It all keeps your mind sharp, as does writing.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. Trying to stay sharp as a tack. 🙂 My mom liked the Word Search puzzles. I’ve tried them online and it’s too difficult to do them that way – I would prefer using paper and pencil. She got them every month, so there are several books of them she never got to – I still keep them for my “golden years” and she also was an avid jigsaw puzzle enthusiast – something else for my retirement phase of my life.

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  2. I don’t typically get too involved with daily games or puzzles, but I did get sucked into Wordle, and I must admit I really enjoy it. But I think our level of brain functioning and cognitive health is probably a mixture of good fortune and lifestyle. I think being active in life’s general challenges helps us towards the goal of delaying decline, and then I think there’s just a point in our aging when we maybe can’t hold back the tide! I do think having pets is good for us in every possible way! 🙂

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  3. For the longest I didn’t even know what Wordle was. I don’t do games either. Just remembering where I put things and what I am going to do next is a challenge some days. But I confess I make a game of trying to remember trivial things – names of movies, distant relatives, news tidbits, that I am not as young as I used to be, names of flowers, names of actors, etc. – all in my head. I like the way you think.

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  4. Haha! I love this so much. I spend a good amount of time playing “Clue,” also known as “Where’s the Husband?” Alright, there’s a lone drill on the deck with no visible signs of construction. Hmm, the possibilities are endless. We could probably do an entire Podcast discussing this.

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  5. Mah jong seems like a very difficult game to play well. I do Wordle and I was doing Quordle and Octordle and I do the one with phrases and Artle with art history. I like ipad games. And I used to love to do sudoku. I grew up in a house of games, and I still like them, but the Gardener doesn’t like to play very often.

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    • I grew up as an only child so there were no games unless it was Solitaire. Hence, I never got attached to them. I used to play bridge on the computer and enjoyed that but that was a long time ago. Mahjongg has layers to it that make it difficult. Still sorting things out but it takes a long time to become a proficient player. Our instructor is amazing.

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      • That makes a lot of sense. My brother (only sib) was 8 years younger, so I mainly played games with my dad or both parents–and the girls in the neighborhood. But my father was nuts about games.

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  6. Yes, I blog under a pseudonym so I can swear all I like at my relatives and neighbors. 🙂

    I’m always calculating tips in my head=10% of the bill and then double it. Meanwhile, my engineer husband with two advanced math degrees always breaks out the calculator.

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    • Eventually don’t people find you anyway even with a pseudonym? Maybe I should blog under your name! I don’t keep a tally on my checkbook but I always know the balance. I attribute it to being a global thinker. I do the % too. So easy. I was at a store when a clerk was given a $100 bill for a $60 purchase. The clerk was flummoxed. I quickly stepped in and helped her out. This was on an old cash register that didn’t do automatic change calcs. Seriously? My 3rd grade nun would have smacked me silly if I didn’t know that.

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  7. I confess to being a Wordle Fan. My husband and I play each morning during breakfast. He chooses the word, then immediately loses interest, and I do word cleanup from there. I especially love when we are playing while on the road. We’ve had waitresses and fellow restaurant goers shout out “Please don’t tell ss the word…we haven’t played yet today”. And we thought that we had quiet indoor voices! 😀

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  8. Although I had pets for most of my life, at this point I don’t have any now. I will be honest and admit I don’t miss cleaning up any kind of ‘ball’ dropped for me to clean up. 🙂 Doing arithmetic in your head is a super power. A lot of us our age have that same power and are proud of it. 🙂 I’m not a big card or game player, but I enjoy a computer jigsaw puzzle or a game of solitaire in the evening.

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  9. I recently got into Wordle, compete with my husband and MIL to see who can get the word of the day in the least tries. I mostly depend on writing stories to keep my brain sane, though not really sure that I was ever fully sane to begin with! 🙂

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  10. Well, being a writer, I love words, so I enjoy word games. I also have a game I play on my tablet where I have to find things in exotic or mysterious settings. Weird, but I enjoy it.

    As far as finding the husband. For me, in summer I check the garden first, but really he could be anywhere in the yard. If not there, I check the man-cave…the basement. In winter, it’s almost always the basement.

    Watch out for those hacked up fur balls and enjoy the rest of your day. 🙂

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  11. Mental math ~ check
    Wordle ~ check
    Quardle ~ check
    NY Times Puzzles (Spelling Bee, Sudoku, Mini Crossword, Letter Box) ~ check
    Bridge ~ check
    Taxes ~ check
    Jeopardy ~ check
    Music ~ check

    Also, physical exercise (and sleep) are important for brain health. I exercise about 300-360 minutes (5-6 hours) a week ~ walking, biking, water aerobics, dancing. BTW: That total came as a pleasant surprise when I checked my exercise graph last night and added up the daily amounts.

    And . . . I bet I go senile anyway! But, if I’m lucky, by the time I “lose my mind” I won’t even notice it’s gone. 😀

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  12. Have you ever taken the Medicare Annual Wellness test for cognitive impairment? That’s an interesting bit of remembering! SSNS refuses to take it after his first experience. That’s when I decided to do mind games, some of what you do and some of my own. Three little words… man, ball, car… still remember them from three years ago!

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  13. For a long time I used to buy the Jumble paperbacks to do on the train to/from work. I stopped when I moved away and no longer took mass transit to work. I tried it again recently when I saw one in the super market line and decided to buy one. I was terrible at it! But I might try it again one of these days. I had a private blog for a short time, but I deleted it because all my posts were negative. I must have gotten it all out of my system. – Marty

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  14. I think physical activity also keeps the mind tuned as well as the other activities you mentioned. A guy I know who stays in all day, every day seems to be getting more and more mentally dull despite reading a lot online. His world seems very small and his mind seems to be taking on similar dimensions.

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  15. I’ve never been very good at math in my head, particularly the kind that has multiple steps and you have to keep track of things. I can do it well enough to look good on the Wechsler but please don’t make me hold numbers in my head and recite them backwards.

    I’ve spent a lot of time trying to win the who is puking where game. I figured I won when I found a moist cleaning cloth that can clean up cat gak of the clear phlegm variety that has dried in odd locations and dust has stuck to it. (Tub O’Towels, if you are interested).

    I do play a little Wordle or card games. I’m not sure they do much for keeping my mind active. Mahjong is far more challenging. But I read a lot. Reading should be good for your brain.

    When you start your other blog, I want to know. Margaret and Helen have moved to Twitter and I prefer something more than sound bytes.

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  16. I worry about the younger generation who appear to do little to exercise their minds. Scrolling on Facebook, Tic Toc, etc. has created zombies who are unable to interact face to face with people. I won’t even mention not being taught cursive handwriting. How will they read historical documents?

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  17. We come from a generation where the only way we learned something was by action, not by hand-held technology. I still count out the amount of change I expect to be handed by doing the counting in my head ($18.73 out of $20 means I should get 2 pennies – 18.75 – a quarter – $19 and a $1 bill – $20). It’s pretty easy to figure out 10% and from there, keep doing math in my head to figure out a sale price or the amount of a tip. Heck, writing/typing using real words and not techno abbreviations is brain exercise – for me, trying to type in techno abbreviations is true brain exercise!

    In the end, the size of the average person’s brain and its knowledge isn’t going to matter or leave much of an impression on others. I can spell complicated words and yet, sometimes I can’t pull the simplest word from my brain when I’m speaking! It’s all good, my friend!

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