Post-it Notes are hurting my brain. At least that is what Superbrain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being (Chopra, Deepak, MD. Tanzi, Ruldolphe E., PhD.) informs me.
Apparently when I use grocery lists to remember what I need at the grocery store as a crutch, I begin to slow down my recall. It is much better to memorize the list (without using a crutch, the tiny 4 x 4 yellow sheet), and go cold turkey, according to the authors.
Tanzi writes that use of lists begin to slow down our memory skills and we become lazy. Our brain begins to atrophy. Oh, oh. I’m in trouble. I am a prolific user of the Post-it Note. In fact, so much so, I rate the inventors (Arthur Fry and Spencer Silver) as genius!
And I am not the only one who believes in the inventors’ genius sticky paper. When I tell my coffee friends that we have to exercise our brains more to keep them in shape and so we need to give up lists, including the Post-it Notes (which all of us over the years have regaled each other with tales of the yellow sticky papers – on windows, car dashboards, computer screens, desk tops, books, inside cupboards, in the fridge…endless tales), well, there is a hush. Then one of my friends states, Unequivocally, that is never going to happen!
We are attached to our sticky notes, healthy brains or not!
But I am attempting to live a life without too many attachments, and so if the brain is healthier by the simple practice of memorization (and not Post-it Notes), then I am willing to give it a go. (I can already see a huge savings in my bank account. Ha.)
Intellectual stimulation comes from many daily activities and exercising recall is just one of many pursuits to a healthier brain function. I’m all in; after all, both my parents had Alzheimer’s disease so a healthy brain is a number one priority for me.
Since most of the foods that I buy at the grocery store are foods that I eat daily – fruits and vegetables and whole grains – I do not find the task of buying groceries without a list too difficult. Usually I find myself in the produce aisle asking myself, What goes into my green drink? What should we have for dinner? Both those simple questions lead me to total recall of my list.
But strangely enough, I usually have prolific lists of books when I visit the library and so I find that giving up my sticky notes, listing new authors and new topics that I want to pursue, is extremely challenging. I stand in the middle of the arts section and think, What the heck? I want a book on Calligraphy but which book was recommended by Nancy? Or, I am in the literature aisles and I go completely blank. Name me an author, please!
I get nothing. Nada! Nil! Nowt! (I’m screwed.) I leave with two books on painting, but neither fits my needs. (Because I don’t paint.) I want to drive home quickly and find my notes. Yes, the multiple Post-it Notes that are in my book bag in the cupboard. Thank heavens I had the wisdom to hide them and not throw them away.
But shouldn’t my pursuit of my passions (reading) come easily to me without the use of a yellow piece of paper? (In my case, multiple yellow pieces.)
When I analyze why I can remember my grocery list, but cannot remember my book list, I am puzzled. Is it because I actually memorize my grocery list before I leave the house? Do I assume that my reading list (translate: one of my true passions in life) is on my default button; therefore, I assume not necessary to memorize? Or is it because that list is particularly long? (I add to it whenever someone mentions a book or an interest of mine, or if I read a review, or read a particularly riveting blog on WordPress.com…I am constantly revising it.)
Hmm…apparently this recall stuff is trickier than at first glimpse. I will need to research more. Google: Why is it easier to recall my grocery list but not my recommended book list? Google: Please list a number of books that you recommend for exercising the recall area of the brain. Google: Please do not list them on a Post-it Note that I can easily download. (Because that would be cheating. Or, would it?)
Now, where did I put that book Superbrain? Apparently I need to re-read a chapter. (Note to me: Re-read Superbrain.)
And, here’s another thing that is bothering me: Why is it that I sat down to write about my recent adventure to China, and yet here I am, writing about recall. And lists.