Forgetful? Join the club

Well, here’s a depressing thought: According to an article in The Wall Street Journal titled “Why We Keep Losing Our Keys; Absentminded at Any Age,” the brain’s cognitive functioning peaks at age 20 — and your brain shrinks as you age.

If that be true, our brain must be the size of a baby pea by now and we probably process thoughts at a speed on par with your average cantaloupe.

The article was intended to be a day brightener, letting everyone know that absentmindedness alone is not a sign of a failing mind — all of us forget things. And, in fact, it is reassuring that our daily search for our keys and our cellphone is not uncommon.

Studies from Great Britain and Germany were cited and a Harvard psychologist was quoted extensively in the story. Everything seemed to point to one simple reason we keep losing everyday items — we’re not paying attention when we put them down.

It was strongly recommended that you put your keys in the same place all the time. (We put ours on the island in the kitchen every evening — and they walk away every night.)

Charge your cellphone in the same wall socket every night. (We plug ours in right next to the bed — every morning we find it half charged on the floor in the living room.)

Even when the phone is not on the floor, though, it is easier to find than the keys. Just use the land line to dial it and when it rings — voila! you’ve got your cellphone. Assuming you didn’t leave it at the office.

That’s a nice feature on the car, too. When you’ve forgotten where you parked it at the mall, just hold down the red button on the remote and it will honk telling you where it is. It’s too bad the keys don’t have a similar, “Hey, fella, I’m over here” function.

According to the WSJ article, the key to overcoming absentmindedness is to try to be a little more organized about where you put everyday items. And, don’t panic if something isn’t where it’s supposed to be. Calmly retrace your steps.

Well, it’s time to go home. Where are the keys? At least we can see the car in the parking lot. If only we could get into it.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.