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.


  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.

  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.