Saving Our Memory: Keep Talking and Keep Walking.

Me on a walk today, Salt Lake City, Utah

Remember When Blogs Were Like Stream-of-Consciousness Confessionals?

Here is the deal: I think I live in my head. I do not understand how to use TikTok. I think I have an account. My boys were embarrassed when I SnapChatted. So I stopped. I have developed an outspoken Twitter persona. Forgive me now! I also confess that I really do not mind falling down a Reddit rabbit hole, when I remember to read Reddit. I am pretty active on Instagram. I would do one of their stories, yet after my recent eye surgery, I am too farsighted to read any posts. Instead I squint and admire a friend’s something-doodle dog daily Instagram posts and another friend’s daily here-is-my-booty shots. Sure, I could get my glasses so I could read the accompanying and very tiny text to these Instagram stories. Alas, I am in bed where I am warm and all snuggled all up to Dave. My glasses are sitting in the cold, crisp office. 

Me & Eli.

It is now hours later. I am out of my cozy bed, in my office, sitting at my desk and wearing my glasses. As I stare at my laptop, I start to think about memory, writing and the past. My mind drifts and I realize that I sort of still believe we live in the pre-social-media, blog world of yesteryear, when blogs were a little strange, people were still apprehensive about using their credit card online, and we were fascinated by some girl named Jenny. She, known as a “lifecaster,” aimed a camera at herself and we, the public, could watch 24/7.  It was really weird at the time. Ok. I still think blogs are also a little strange. I also think people are apprehensive of using their credit card online, because now we use credit cards for everything online and our information gets stolen. I do not know what ever happened to Jenny. 

I was no 24/7 Lifecaster. That is why long ago I let go of the notion that I could be a web-based voyeur-enabler, a social media influencer or top mommy blogger. Yet, as far as blogging, I still hold on. Then and now, I need to let the stuff out of my head. Blogging and writing help me do that. (You should see all existential my notes in my iPhone. They could fill a book.)  I also think journaling is important and a way to preserve our stories. Selfishly, I like an audience. Often that audience is just Dave and I am totally ok with that. These days, however, I am definitely a little lonely and feeling a little disconnected. Writing makes me feel like I am talking to you. If you are also reading, thank you. It actually means a lot, especially this year when we are all so isolated, or at least should be isolated, and should be wearing a mask in public. 

Hiking with Kyle, Mary, Me & Dave

So, this morning, after getting up at 6:30AM with Eli, I was laying in bed. Let me set the scene. See, I was up until 2:00AM texting with my college friend, Teb B. Eventually, Ted B. wanted to Facetime. He wanted to show me how he was “sharpening his knife.” I was like, “Ted B. this is my exit cue. I need to be up at 6:30AM for Eli.”

Then Ted B. sent me a picture of himself literally sharpening his knife.

Ted. B. sharpening his knife

At 6:30AM my alarm jolted me out of some really sweet sleep. Slowly I made my way to the bathroom and then down to check on Eli. I saw his light on and felt relieved. 

“How are you doing?” I asked.

“I’m tired, but good.” He replied.

Eli has a new job at a ski resort and I wanted to see him off. I am guessing you already know about that feeling of wanting to make sure your kids are settled, that they have calculated the travel time correctly, and that they did not forget all the forms they need. Well, that urge to make sure they are OK never goes away. This morning, I had that feeling. Soon Eli was upstairs packing up his things. After getting him some bandaids and then watching him place them over his painful-looking hand scrapes he received from the climbing gym, Eli was on his way. Later he called from the resort and told me how excited he was to have this wacky new job, about all the gear they gave him and about how he will shuttle with a group of guys to work. Then I asked him a bunch of questions. He answered them while sitting in his car in the resort parking lot. I know this because I asked him if he was driving. He said,

“No Mom. I am sitting in the parking lot talking to you.”

It was really nice talking to him. I bathed in his excitement and felt very proud. 

Walking in Salt Lake City, Utah

Still sort of half asleep, but not asleep enough to go back to sleep, I reached for my iPhone. I started scrolling through all of it when I came upon an article from my online crush: CNN’s own Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Don’t judge. He’s hot. The article: “Memory Fades When We Age, But We Don’t Have To.” Thinking first about the internet’s hotty-McHotterson, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, then thinking about how many times Kyle and Eli have called Dave and me “boomers,” and finally thinking about how many times the boys proclaim, “you don’t remember anything,” I eagerly devoured the article. 

To my great surprise, I found that I am already doing one of the best things to keep my memory intact:

“If you put it all together, one of the best things you can do for your brain: Take a brisk walk with a close friend and discuss all your problems.”

Quickly, I sent the quote to Dave, hoping he would connect the dots, the dots which imply,

“Your wife is the most enlightened human ever. She knew the secret, even before Dr. Gupta did.”

[insert all long enough pause here for Dave to absorb all of my inspired wisdom]

My text continues: “All of those long walks, with accompanying fights are saving your memory. You are welcome!” 

Dave’s Response: “Oh no! Now you have science to back you up!”
My response: “So, screw Sudoku!”

Science and very attractive Dr. Sanjay Gupta happily validated my need to analyze, reanalyze and analyze a few more times. They also recognize that we need to process with another human and while going on a walk. Genius! And walking and talking is a silver bullet to keeping our memories. Woot! 

Me and Dave, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

I have been a walk-talk person since the beginning of my time. Who would have thought my great love is also the holy grail to preserving our memory? All I was trying to do is relieve my angsty brain cycles. As such, I needed to move and I needed to talk out all the stuff. MORE IMPORTANTLY, thank goodness for all the willing victims who agreed to walk with me regularly and in an attempt to save my mental health (and apparently also our memory):

Me, Kyle & Dave, walking in the foothills about Salt Lake City, Utah

I am grateful for all of you. I am grateful for the years of talking through all our existential crisis and exposing our vulnerability, discussing topics such as, but not limited to, deconstructing relationships, marriages, family trauma, parenting mishaps, and financial blunders. Then filtering through sex talk to sex questions and advice on vagina issues and waxing blunders. I am always game for discussions where we  navigate our political philosophies, belief structure and making peace with God, or no that there is no God. Finally, most walks also include a little circle-of-trust talk, or better, straight up gossip, which I like to call, “processing.” 

Let me end where I began. I am grateful for you online folks who listen to me ramble (like you are doing now).