Tune into a mystery or thriller TV show and the perpetrator is often someone who hears “voices” inside his head tellingl him to do the evil things he is doing. Very scary. But what I am more familiar with is how we Baby Boomers have that one unrelenting voice inside our heads: our own.
The level of Brain Noise we experience seems to increase as we get older. We seem to have lost the battle of controlling our thoughts, which seem to control us. We tend to worry about remembering, worry about forgetting things, worry about worrying. It’s Cranium Chaos, Batman!, when your own ping-ponging thoughts wreak havoc on your day (let alone your psyche). It is definitely a jungle in there as we constantly “talk” to ourselves.
The Brain Noise that roars as we get older:
- Dwelling on things. You know about this. You will begin to think about the problems someone in your family is having and those thoughts will squeeze out anything else you might need to consider during the day even though there is nothing you can do to help the situation: “I just can’t get my daughter/son/mom/dad out of my mind,” you will say, and that’s the truth.
- Making those pesky mountains out of moleholes. Boomers are great at this (not that I would know!). We take a seemingly small detail in life and blow it up to gargantuan proportions: “So we have tickets for Saturday’s football game with the Smiths. We should leave early enough to get a parking place near the exit, because if we don’t, it could take hours to get home. Should we tailgate or just buy food there, which is way too expensive and a waste of money? Or we could wait to eat after the game, that is if we can get out of the parking lot in decent time. Maybe we would be better off parking in town and walking to the game, but then we can’t tailgate. Do I need a coat, hat, gloves, sunglasses? Where’s my team sweatshirt? And oh God, is it going to snow???
- Working hard to maintain our memories, to add new ones without losing the old. It’s scary when we can’t remember something. Out with my sisters-in-law the other day, it took three of us to come up with the name of an actor starring in an upcoming movie. We had to run down his entire film history to unearth his name from our memory banks. Mission accomplished, but it took three of us.
It ain’t easy being us, but it could be worse. And there is help out there if we remember to look for it.
Watch for the next issue of Boom This! for some tips that could help you stop dwelling on details, building mountains out of molehills, having to work so hard to keep your memory in tact and, thankfully, reduce the amount of Brain Noise in your head.
By Teresa K. Flatley