Improve Your Memory: Linger

When was the last time you walked at a leisurely pace taking time to “smell the roses” along the way? Another meaning of the word linger is to dwell in contemplation, thought or enjoyment.  Life is busy and it is so easy to get caught up in the momentum and be thinking ahead to something else you need to do or still be focused on something that happened recently.
Does it seem like each year life goes just a little bit faster? Ads often boast speed and not having to wait. Multitasking is mentioned often as a benefit. But what are you missing? Not only does it impact your ability to focus, listen, pay attention and remember but it can diminish the quality of your experiences. What memories come to mind when you hear this quote. “Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand.” Being a person who loves the ocean, I am fully aware that being in that environment nurtures my desire to linger. Creating something similar where I live far from the water is evident in the little corners I have created both in my home and yard. Is there a place you go to that allows you to pause and linger?
Recently I was over the top with some interesting projects where the deadlines all were about the same time and rushing to get things done was the pace day after day. I knew things would get back to a busy “normal” once these projects were done but I also felt out of balance. Thankfully I knew I would need a break and had scheduled a getaway to Arizona as things were winding down.
What a contrast once I was able to take drives and walks to enjoy the landscape of the desert which had appealed to me the first time I visited Tucson 34 years ago.  Leisurely strolling through the various gardens promoted lingering and it was beyond delightful! Scattered through the gardens were beautiful sayings.  Hans Christian Anderson wrote “Just living is not enough said the butterfly. One must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” That made me smile and stayed with me for the rest of the day reminding me the benefits of taking time to be in the moment.  I wanted more.
I decided that once a week during the rest of this non-spring like weather I am going to make sure there are some little flowers to brighten my kitchen. Spring is around the corner and then I can be outside planting and lingering in nature. What about you? How can you put a little more lingering in your life? Notice how it slows you down and relaxes you. It is a great habit to adopt that promotes one of the keys to memory fitness – paying attention and being in the present moment.

Linger once a day. Slow your pace. Notice the beauty around you. Listen carefully to the words of others.  Find a saying that speaks to you and put it in a place where it reminds you to slow down, breathe deeply and enjoy.

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” Eddie Cantor

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About Kathryn Kilpatrick

Kathryn Kilpatrick received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 1968 from the University of Massachusetts. She has worked in a variety of settings, primarily in Ohio, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and for decades in the area of home health care. Kathryn is president of Memory Fitness Matters ( and Communication Connection( She offers memory coaching for all ages and has a geriatric consulting practice. She is a national motivational speaker and author of more than 30 products to enhance communication and connection as well as a Memory Fitness Toolkit. Kathryn brings her decades of experience as a speech-language pathologist to all those wanting to enhance their quality of life, particularly when there are communication, memory and cognitive challenges. Her websites offer information on a wide variety of topics related to elder care concerns as well as memory fitness and successful aging.
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