Friday, 17 February 2012

New improved memory tag

It is now exactly two months since I began this process of remembering every day of my life. So far, so good.

I can recall what I was did on every one of the days of this period, who I was with, where we went, the weather.

This information comes to mind from thinking of the date on my mental calendar. I see the image I have pinned there as a memory tag and the rest of the day flows from that.

Going back beyond two months and there is the familiar fog.

I might be able to remember where I was. I can only remember what I did exactly if the date is significant. More often the best I get is a generalised sense of mashed experiences; many days merge into any day for that time and place.

I much prefer remembering.

A lot has happened in the past two months, even if much of it is mundane. The routine makes it a challenge to choose a memory tag that captures each day's uniqueness.

Sometimes I've found the memory tags first selected need some improvement. For Wednesday 8 February, I chose to store away a conversation with my parents about the medication I needed for my wife. It was symbolic of how they have been there for me in things big and small and how I will miss them when they are gone, if I don't go first.

Then I found just a week later I couldn't for the life of me remember whether I had been in the office that day or worked from home. The following days also had more quirky memory tags and I had no strong sense of where I had spent them.

It took a  little while to remember one incident that brought the work aspect into sharp focus. It came back to me that I was in the office on the Wednesday because a co-worker had left a message, but was not in herself. I wrote a reply on her message and we discussed it on Friday, because I didn't go in on Thursday.

Adding the image of writing the reply to my internal calendar for 8 February is enough to sort out my movements for those three days.

For a moment I thought it didn't matter, to let it go. Let the fog descend again.

But I have chosen clarity. I believe my mind has the capacity to remember these details. I am going to work on the theory that I will be able to remember more details of each day as I continue this experiment, not less.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Lembran. I have to say that I really love the idea that someone like me could remember every day of my life. So I started to use this mental calendar, and i have a question. Is it ok to chose 2 memory pegs for 2 different days as 2 mental pictures taken in the same place. Say, one of them me in the park with some friends and the other still me in the park, but alone.

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  2. Hi, thanks for your question. My answer is: whatever works for you! I view this as an experiment and my own technique has changed over time. Personally, I do have recurring images. For example, I generally go for a group run in the park on Saturday mornings. That will be one of the tags for the day (sometimes I'll add another tag for something else that happened later), but I always try to speak to someone new and use the memory tag to remember who (which both makes the tag unique and means I remember people when I meet them again). Good luck with your experiment. Come back to tell us how it goes. Amazingly, I am now starting my 5th year of remembering every day that passes.

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