Stupid memory tricks

I have found that as I get older, my memory gets worse, or my brain plays more and more stupid memory tricks on me. Lately, I have found it more difficult to remember a word that I want to use, although I know it’s meaning perfectly and even have an idea of what letter it begins with.

In my previous post, I wrote the following sentence: “…we found ourselves at 2 bars.” When writing that sentence, I wanted to add a few words indicating these were bars which we regularly attended. I knew there was a word for this, I even knew the word began with a “p”, but for the life of me I could not drudge up the word from the murky swamp of my brain.

Until about 15 minutes later when, still brooding over it, the word, “patronize” popped out of the mire. (“…we found ourselves a 2 bars which we regularly patronize.”)

It got me thinking: how is it we can know there a word for something, even know the first letter of the word, and yet have an incredibly difficult time prying the actual word from our memory? I knew there was a word that described “giving a store, restaurant, bar, etc. regular business”, but I couldn’t think of what that word was. The word had to be there somewhere in my brain, but my aging synapses made it difficult to locate and extract. Why is this, I wonder? Is it simply some kind of stupid memory trick the brain plays on you as you get older? It is psychological? Or is it physiologic? Has my brain actually started to degrade with age?

I hope it’s not the latter. My body might degrade, but I want my brain to stay how it is.