Lumosity: Brain Training Games or Coping with a New Reality

Lumosity consists of brain training games. I have been playing them on and off for about 10 years. I have thoroughly enjoyed playing them and also have enjoyed competing with myself and others my age.

Each game focuses on an area such as speed, problem-solving, attention, divided attention, memory, flexibility, etc. I am fascinated to see that even though my scores are lower than they used to be, I have the same strengths that I had when I played them before. My highest scores are problem solving, attention, and memory. My weakest area was speed in the past and it continues to be lower than other areas.

I remember having a lot of 97- 99 percentile when I was younger but now when I’m compared to my peers my highest areas are in the mid 60 percentiles with the exception of problem solving which is 88.4%

I have been able to get home health services since I have been staying at this senior living facility. One of the home health therapists focuses in part on cognitive areas. She thought any deficits I had could be attributed to stress, but suggested I do some brain training activities. She was delighted when I suggested Lumosity.

One day in the last few weeks, I got my foot caught in a paper bag when I went over it with my walker. I became very stressed when I couldn’t fix the situation.

I was able to eventually figure it out and free myself from the bag. But I am having more problems with my left foot freezing, especially when I’m stressed.

I am also challenged by getting dressed. Sometimes I can’t figure it out and I need help. I don’t necessarily like that I need help, but I appreciate that help is available.

I need to acknowledge and accept the grief about what I’ve lost without losing myself in it. And there will be lots of opportunities to use my problem solving, attention and memory skills. Thank you Lumosity for showing me I continue to have those skills.

Remembering December 26, 2004

One of my favorite holiday memories was of participating in a Messiah Singalong at Seattle’s University Unitarian Church the day after Christmas.  While I still think of those times fondly, something else is more likely to come to my mind when I think of December 26 now.

I was at Amritapuri, India for Christmas in December of 2004.  During the evening on Christmas day there was an entertainment program.  What I remember most about that program was an incredible fire dancer.

The next morning, December 26, I was on the temple roof practicing with a singing group when someone told us that water had come all the way to the ashram gates.  We didn’t know what they were talking about and for some reason just kept on singing.  Then we heard people screaming.  We looked over the balcony only to see water filling the ashram grounds.  The 2004 tsunami had hit the nearby village and the water was now flowing through the ashram itself.

DSC03800

As anyone who knows her would expect, Amma went into action.  Boats and canoes carried the villagers and the ashram residents to the other side of the backwaters.  Amma fed and housed everyone in her colleges.

There was so much grief that day and for days to come.  Many of the villagers had lost children, husbands, wives, friends, and relatives when they were pulled into the Arabian Sea by the tsunami wave. Amma consoled the survivors, and her own grief was visible.

There is one song I associate with the tsunami.  Amma sang it a few days before the event, and once again in an outdoor courtyard a night or two after the tragedy.  I was so moved by her tears when she sang the ending lines “Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu” (May all beings in the world be happy).

In the months and years that followed, Amma provided tsunami disaster relief work in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.  Embracing the World spent forty-six million dollars building new houses and villages, feeding survivors, replacing the lost boats of fisherman, providing vocational training to women, giving scholarships to children, and much, much more.

The Fog

The 5th Writing 201: Poetry assignment was to write an elegy; a first-person poem on themes of longing, loss, and mourning. The word prompt was “fog.”  My poem is very rough, because I definitely don’t know what I am doing on this one!

I chose to write about my experience with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome during the 1980’s.  While the poem itself is unskilled, I believe there will probably be numerous readers who will relate to my experience.

The Fog

Five years living in the fog
Everything is slow; can’t think, can’t do.
Exhaustion never ends.
Plan after plan put on hold.
Dreading to go to bed at night
Can’t face yet another dawn.
Walking to the kitchen to make some food?
Not worth it… why try?
Heavy
Heavy
Heavy
Five years later, fog is lifting
Good days, bad days, but it’s shifting.
Will it end? Will it return?
Dare I hope?
May I hope?
Hope?