As I mentioned in June, I had a bout of “post-viral” encephalitis that affected my memory and cognition. It’s been a long slog back, and it seems like the better I get the longer it seems I have to go. Certain things remain hard, such as driving directions, and my memory has holes sometimes. The most disconcerting problem is that sometimes my facility with words deserts me. I was a lawyer: lawyers live by words. It’s been scary. But as I said, I’m getting better all the time, and am much better than I was in the summer.

I am a fan of Bejeweled, particularly on my phone. It’s not like an addiction — I can quit any time I want to. Or so I keep telling myself. I have tried going cold turkey to no success, and substituting Tetris, but I keep finding myself sitting in the car waiting for someone, and I will whip out my iPhone and make those pretty jewels drop into place.

Bejeweled is, like some things, more difficult these days. It takes longer to see the patterns. Where before I could swipe left, right, up or down (two more directions than Tinder!) in the blink of an eye without thinking, now I have to look carefully and ponder. It has slowed down my game.

But it has made me a much better player. I rack up more hypercubes. I see patterns developing two or three steps ahead. I am less likely to find myself with only one or two options on the board, and I am cognizant of all the possible plays, not simply the one I’m making.

Recently, I kept a game going for several weeks, playing here and there while waiting for people, in the line at the  Walgreen’s pharmacy (or waiting for them to fill a prescription), before going to bed, etc. My final score?

Over 30 million.  It’s a bizarre little accomplishment, and I am inordinately proud of it.

I wonder how much the slowing down and pondering is showing up elsewhere in my life, and whether it will change my decision-making for the better. Something to, erm, ponder, at least.

Here’s hoping.


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