Let me say first-off that in most respects, my retirement brain has been a loyal and reliable servant, at least when it comes to my personal safety going up and down stairs after too many margaritas, or trying to convert grams to ounces when preparing margaritas. Or, even just remembering where I leave my margaritas when I go off to take my Krill Oil.
Now of course, you’re thinking, but everybody’s talented and accomplished here from years of being talented and accomplished at pre-retirement. This is true, but while our brains often seem to be emails languishing in your OUTBOX and going nowhere, I need to tell you that age has nothing to do with it. It is our retirement lifestyle here in Ajijic, with the gentle weather patterns, the lush surroundings, the easy day to day living, and becoming more audience than adventurer, which reduces our brain function to that of a garden gnome.
For example, I know that my brain has gone soft. Like last night, when I was lying awake proposing the theory to myself that you can get more nutrients out of broccoli if you smoke it in a pipe. This is my post-retirement brain at work.
In illustration A to the right, you have the normal, alert pre-retirement brain (in perfect operating condition if you have maintained it according to your manual and you are not running for public office). As you can see, it’s ready to jump right in there and think up clever and useful things to be doing, not sitting around “liking” things on Facebook.
It is this superb specimen that is responsible for humanity’s greatest discoveries – the expanding universe, the double helix and, of course, the double martini.
Now, let’s take a look at illustration B, the semi-conscious retirement brain.
As you can see, this poor creature looks a lot like an old boxing glove. That’s because, I regret to say, it actually is a bit punchy. After all, it has done nothing during retirement but check out “What’s going on, tonight?” And “Is there parking?” Under these circumstances, the brain’s capacity for making sense of things has been compromised, and only the oldest part of this brain, which tells you what to do if you are attacked by Bengal Tigers, is still functioning properly.
It is this brain that once convinced me while I was napping in the garden that I had discovered a cure for anthrax poisoning, when I don’t even know what anthrax poisoning is. I scribbled it all down on my fish taco napkin:
Cure for Anthrax.
Some Echinacea - not sure yet how much.
Gum Arabic – always works.
Something else, maybe that stuff that gets out rust.
Mercifully, my fully rested brain whistled itself to full alertness and tossed the mysterious anthrax cure into the trash.
My first conclusion was that we do our brains a terrible disservice by retiring at all, and sitting around reading articles like this one, which have no big, puzzling words.
But then I reconsidered this all. Pre-retirement life tended to be one important, serious matter after another; and maybe our brain at this stage is just fed-up and needs to have some good, old-fashioned play time. The smoking broccoli idea, possibly spiced with other herbs, still sounds to me like it has merit.