Thursday, 26 January 2012

Reinforcement is key

If you want to remember things, you have to exercise your memory.

Today some thoughts on how I do so in this project to remember every day of my life.

In the morning, while making breakfast, getting ready and/or on the way to work or going out, I find a little time to recall my memory tags going back about 10 days.

I don't spend much time on each day, but bring up the image I have pinned to my mental calendar, and picture the calendar too, as that gives a feel for the day of the week.

Sometimes it takes a little effort to remember the image. Sometimes other things that happened that day come to mind first, but I seek out the image I chose, because that it what I want to reinforce. I don't think doing so makes the other memories mean any less - the memory tag is a way to access those too.

Since starting this process last month, I have often thought, "Was that really as long as a week ago! It seems like just a few days." Or, sometimes the opposite, "It seems like an age ago that we were there." Another time, I'll discuss how this is affecting me.

In the evening, when I lay down to sleep, I pin down the memory tag for that day, as described yesterday. At this time, I think back to the image for 7 days before. Then 14 days before. Then 21 days - working out the exact date if it doesn't immediately come to mind. And so on, remembering this day of the week as far as I have the memories.

On occassion, when I have the time, I run back through all the days in sequence until I started this process on 17 December.  Then I come up against the wall, when I am not really sure what I did on the 16th.

But, so far at least, it seems that this 10-day moving window is working to capture the image for each day so that moving into the mode of flipping back through the weeks, the memories are there.

If I can't quite remember what I was doing say three weeks ago, then remembering a day either side helps, or the week before.

It is early days, but I'm optimistic these images will remain for the weeks, months and years to come.

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