Menopause

Mental Flexibility: Try This Test!

Last Saturday, I went to a conference on menopause and women in midlife sponsored by Duke University. At a booth that focused on the aging brain, I took this test.

You try it! Say the name of the color you see NOT the word. Say the colors as fast as you possibly can.

GO!

How did you do?

The gentleman manning the booth said I did well, but I didn’t really hit my stride until the last two lines or so. The test is used clinically for lots of purposes. In this case, it was measuring the flexibility of my aging mind.

Ha! I’m working on flexibility. I agreed to a sponge holder in our sink. I’m willing to try a fancy concealer my daughter Laura recommends. And I allow my grandson Maze boss me to the moon and back.

Here’s another version of the test:

Second Stroop

I could do this for a long time. It’s way fun.

What I don’t want to do is count backwards by sevens. I find it painful. I’m not a numbers person. My parents had to count backwards by sevens to get into their retirement center. “Piece of cake!” Mom said. I’ve been practicing. With my luck, I’ll get the sevens down, and my future retirement center will switch to sixes or eights.

Back to the Stroop Test. I’m going to bring the paper copy to Family Beach Week. I want to see how my kids do. I already tested Cliff. He sped through the colors. But that’s okay. If he’s more flexible, then I should get to be the boss of our aging years, right?

Here’s the wiki on the Stroop Test.

Life

French Lessons: Il Pleut/It Rains!

Reflections on our trip to Paris, written by Judy Brown. This is Post Two in a series titled “French Lessons.”

It rains.  Adapt.  Be flexible.  Despite lugging our rain coats and umbrellas around, Barbara, Lisa and I coped quite well with the drizzle and downpours during our fall Paris trip.

The light sprinkle on the water surface at the garden (Jardins des Nymphaes) at Giverny actually enhanced the visual experience.  The willows were still weeping, the autumn flowers still splashed with color, and the pond now had movement that mesmerized the eye.

Life calls us to adapt to the daily drizzles and to the heavier monsoons. I recall how soon after my first child was born that she unknowingly taught me how to be flexible.  Go on a trip, cook a nice dinner, meet friends at exactly 2 pm.  Forget it.  But it was ok.

Francois, our French tour guide in Paris, took us on a whirlwind trip of the Louvre and Notre Dame. He was well versed in history, a character, and could put any chatty woman to shame.

I often directed the side conversations to learn more about French life and his life.

Francois is happily married to a younger woman from Spain, and they are hoping for their first child very soon.  They even have the conception date planned for December 24!  Hmmmm….will he also learn the same lesson?

I think he might be on a good path to being adaptable, however.

He shared with us that because his small household has 2 native languages, they split the day.  During the day they speak Spanish.  At night they switch to French.  How fair!  How flexible.  How creative! Francois did bemoan, however, that when they argue, the language agreement often fails!

The other man in our life while on our French trip was Frederic–very stately, proper, and I must say, quite good looking!

Our two hour round trip car ride with Frederic provided lots of talking time. I tried not to get too personal, but when I probed about his personal life and asked how long he had been married, he said, “Oh we forgot to get married, but we have been together for 4 years.”

Adapt.  Be creative.  Find spunky new umbrellas, buy fancy rain coats, get plaid vinyl boots. Il pleut.  It could  always rain on your plans.

Photo Above:  Lisa, Judy, and Frederic in Monet’s garden.

Below:  Barbara in her raincoat.