Laughing at yourself is therapeutic!

Published 4:59 pm Tuesday, July 13, 2021

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There are hundreds of medical disorders known to man. Most all are treatable, if diagnosed early.

But there’s one that begins to manifest itself as folks like me begin to age. No….it’s not dementia, but rather a totally different way of how a person’s mind works.

We’ve all heard of Attention Deficit Disorder, one that is common among children. Heck, I had it when I was young, but it didn’t have an official title back then. It was just part of growing up….we had too many things to do and not enough time to accomplish those tasks.

It has now been brought to my attention that the same type of condition applies to older adults. The same thing applies to us “seniors” as it did when we were kids with the exception that while we still have a lot to get done, we find ourselves steering off course while trying to accomplish a few simple chores.

Here’s an example of what I’m taking about…Age Attention Deficit Disorder (taken from a online source that contained no attribution to its original source):

One morning, after a few cups of coffee, I decide it’s a perfect day to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier. I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the trash can is full. So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think, since I’m going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Pepsi I’d been drinking.

I’m going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Pepsi aside so that I don’t accidentally knock it over. The Pepsi is getting warm, and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye….they need water. I put the Pepsi on the counter and discover my reading glasses that I’ve been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I’m going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight when the wife and I find some time to kick back and relax and watch TV, I’ll be looking for the remote, but I won’t remember that it’s on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I’ll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day: the car isn’t washed; the bills aren’t paid; there is a warm can of Pepsi sitting on the counter that I don’t remember placing there; the flowers don’t have enough water; there is still only one check remaining in my check book; I can’t find the dang remote; I can’t find my reading glasses; and I don’t remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I’m really baffled because I know I was busy all day, and I’m really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I’ll try to get some help for it, but first I think I’ll check my e-mail…..but wouldn’t you know it, I can’t find my reading glasses!!

Don’t laugh….if this isn’t you yet, your day is coming!

For me personally, this precisely explains the reason why I can’t seem to get anything done around the house on my rare days off.

Perhaps this also explains why I can never find the remote…or my glasses!

And, yes it explains another sure sign of aging as posted on Facebook this past Sunday morning by one of my lifelong friends, Phyllis Branch Lassiter. She wrote:

“I can’t remember if I fed my cats this morning. Not sure if I took my medicine last night. Forgot the two main things I wanted from Food Lion today. Been looking for my sunglasses for two days. However, when this song (“Brandy – You’re a Fine Girl” – released by the group Looking Glass in 1972) came on the radio today, I remembered every single word of it and was able to sing along. Please explain this phenomena to me gently.”

To Phyllis and all my other Age Attention Deficit Disorder comrades, just remember…if you can…three things:

Growing older is mandatory.

Growing up is optional.

Laughing at yourself is therapeutic!

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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