Brain Draining

If there are any 20 year-olds reading this (and why haven’t you got something better to do?) try the following exercise:
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ask your parents how old they feel inside their heads. Go on, ask them. I’m absolutely certain of their answer. Because it is one of life’s certainties that, once you turn 50, you may see your mother/father beginning to stare back at you in the mirror, but inside your head you’re exactly 21. I know you don’t believe it, but one day that’ll be you too.

Sometimes I even think I’m aspiring to be 21, with the enviable maturity that will bring me. But this has to be counterbalanced by the fact that I’m’re also worrying about the possibility of Alzheimer’s.

(I thought this was just my hypochondria, but I had this confirmed by a fellow 50-something the other day, so it’s obviously quite common).

In an attempt to reassure myself that I was was more akin to the former me than the future one, I got one of those Nintendo brain training things at Christmas. Now, I know I shouldn’t be seduced by its inventor, Dr Kawashima, (not least because his virtual self comes across as a gibbering, laughing, idiot who constantly repeats himself – not much of a role model, I think), but my first ‘assessment’ set my brain age at 40. Not bad, I thought, but being the competitive animal I am, I completed the training every day, gradually lowering my brain age. Finally, on New Year’s Eve I achieved Dr Kawashima’s gold standard: a brain age of 20! According to the laughing doctor, it doesn’t get any better than a 20

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year-olds brain (has he even met any 20 year-olds?).

But here was proof (and, dear reader, proof was definitely needed) that my suspicion was correct. In my head, I really am 21 – result!

And that’s when I should have stopped. Game over, can’t beat that.

But, of course, I didn’t. Though I don’t visit the good Doctor’s little black lab as often as I did over the festivities, I’ve lately seen a gradual raising of my brain age. This morning, I hit 35. How depressing – it’s bad enough first time round, but, having recaptured my youthful mental acuities, I’m sliding towards virtual old age all over again. At this rate, I’ll be in my seventies by February.

So, I consoled myself by going for a 30 minute run around Hyde Park. That’s 10 minutes more exercise than that whippersnapper who just got in the White House does every morning. Eat my shorts, Obama!

(Mind you, he’s possibly a little busier than I am right now).

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