Breaking medical news: Brains continue to grow as we age!
Breaking medical news: Brains continue to grow as we age! It's true. Contrary to what we've been led to believe ... that our brains shrink with age, prolonged visits from prostrate relatives, and too many margaritas ... our brains actually get bigger. If you don't believe me, I invite you to step inside my brain for a looksee. Sandwiched between "emotions" and "salty language," you'll find a spanking new brain area called "parking." It's all I think about these days: parking. And, much to my brain's credit, it has responded to my preoccupation by opening up a new wing. I never used to think about parking. In my younger years, for example, I would head to wild and crazy music festivals in remote farm areas accessible by a one-lane gravely road, and parking would be the last thing on my mind. But, these days? It's parking! parking! parking! Just last week, my husband and I were mulling over which concerts to attend this summer, and, in sharp contrast to prior summers where I would be highly focused on the groovy performers and their awesome talents, all I was concerned about this year was the parking. What exactly do I concern myself with? Well, I wonder about how close the parking is, how easy it will be to leave when the show is over, whether the parking lot is well-lit, and what I might do in the event that I was mugged. Me: "No! You cannot have my purse! It's too full of lucky charms!" Mugger: "Oh, yeah? Like what?" Me: "My rabbit's foot, my Gumby, and all my kids' teeth, including their recently pulled wisdom teeth. They've still got the roots attached. Want to hold one?" Mugger: (Sound of feet running away from me.) If brain neurons ever fired between "emotions" and "parking," I might also be concerned with what my parking obsession says about the ol' Annie fun meter. But that usually doesn't happen. I'm afraid the "salty language" department seems to have a stronghold on both "emotions" and "parking." The point is, I've become my mother. No! The point is, I've become a responsible individual with practical tendencies. First it was the flossing to ward off puffy gums, then it was the calcium supplements to thwart brittle bones, and now it's the obsession with parking to prevent brain shrivel. In case you were wondering, I'm excited to announce that "parking" isn't the only new area of brain growth. Just last week, construction got underway for yet another wing called "toilets." I don't know about other women, but not having access to public toilets can really sour my mood. Couple that with no toilet paper, and I'd just as soon stay home and overdose on Pepto-Bismol. Anyway, I know other people recharge their noggins with Sudoku and new hobbies, but I'm here to tell you ... with my big head as my witness ... that you'd don't need to go to those lengths to prevent your brain from drooling out of your ear. All you need to do is focus on what's right in front of you. For your sake, I sincerely hope "what's right in front of you" does not involve long-winded relatives on their third margarita. Anne Palumbo writes this weekly column for Messenger Post Newspapers. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.