Be aware

Some things take a long time to materialize, so best to be aware if you have ever been exposed to asbestos.
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused from the exposure to the mineral asbestos. Asbestos was once praised for its heat-resistant properties and was consequentially used in just about anything from drywall in your house to a military aircraft carrier. Since the harmful effects of asbestos have been discovered, its use has been largely relegated, however many people are still at risk of developing mesothelioma due to its 20-50 year latency period. This makes most of the mesothelioma diagnoses and those at risk of developing this cancer senior citizens.
The Mesothelioma Center is a free resource and service center who is there to provide the most up-to-date information on everything asbestos and mesothelioma as well as answer any and all questions you may have. See here for more information on mesothelioma.

Jigsaw completed

Jubilation was evident when the puzzle was finally completed. It hadn’t taken as long as expected. But you will note that three pieces are missing. Such a pity! The pieces came in a sealed plastic bag and I was very careful, so I think they did not come in the pack.

Did I derive any of the possible benefits? I’m not sure. But I loved the activity. It was almost an addiction. I felt deprived if bedtime came and I had not found time to add new pieces to the picture. I would sometimes be doing the jigsaw when I should have been doing something else.

Jigsaw Blog

My husband noted the endless patience I demonstrated in completing the picture and patience is not normally one of my strengths. I would love to start another one. Hopefully soon.

Why are jigsaws good for us?

When my grandsons were primary school age the whole family would work on a jigsaw during the school holidays. Everyone would have a go, often in a group, or sometimes alone. Social interaction wa as much fun as actually completing the puzzle.

Recently I have had an urge to undertake a jigsaw puzzle. Questioning my idea, I wondered if I was just indulging a whim or were there benefits in doing jigsaw puzzles. Undertaking jigsaw puzzles is actually very good for our brains. They challenge our dexterity by exercising our hands, spatial reasoning and logic while also improving our concentration and patience. The process works both sides of our brain which enhances out memory and accelerates our ingenuity and creativity.

Good enough reason I thought, to invest in a puzzle. So I set up a little table and set to work. I have a system, trying to get the edges done first and any blocks I can see in the puzzle. But this is the first one I have done alone, not sure how I will go.

Jigsaw 1               Jigsaw 2

Making progress, slowly. I will keep you posted

How can we improve our memory?

Busy working mothers need to be organized, or so I found when I was a working wife and mother. Every facet of life required a lot of “remembering”. I think this was when I I became a list maker and I am still a “list” disciple. But there are many other options that help us remember.

  1. Focus on whatever is being said or happening to be sure you understand. Try not to be distracted.
  2. Visualize to create a mental picture of what is being said or done.
  3. Repeat things back to the speaker to ensure you have heard and understand – an excellent tactic with little children.
  4. When you meet someone for the first time be sure to repeat their name as many times as you can during the conversation.
  5. Stop “multi-tasking” but if you must be sure to use lists that ae detailed and comprehensive. Remember to cross things off your list. It feels good to know you are achieving.
  6. Use “memory prompts”. Changing the linen tomorrow? Put the clean linen out the night before. Need to take a parcel to the post tomorrow? Put it near the exit door the night before.
  7. Use a calendar, on the wall, on your smart phone or computer. Digital calendars allow you to set up prompts so today you can get a prompt about what appointments or tasks you need to do tomorrow.

Weekly Planner

I am sure there are many more ideas out there that work for you, so please share.

There are also activities and exercises for our brains that will keep them in good condition. Maybe we can check them out later.

Why do we forget things?

Our brains are crammed with information. Consider the amount of detail that we accurately remember every day. So why do we find ourselves forgetting things?

Sometimes we just don’t bother to store information because we become distracted by other things. Multitasking, switching from one thing to another and constant interruptions make it difficult to remember. Our focus may not be on what is happening now and the information is not stored.

Our memories are selective and we remember what we want to remember. Usually we focus on good memories and try to avoid the not so good.

Brains hold detailed representation of multitudes of things and we can’t always retrieve information when we want. Have you had moments when you couldn’t remember and suddenly when we are quieter, it pops up?

But the really good news is we can improve our memory. There are many simple strategies that we can employ to exercise and prompt our memory. Watch out for further posts. Please add the strategies you use to ensure you remember.