Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Lost images - 13 and 14 October 2012

Yesterday was 13 August 2013, so in my recently adopted review procedure, I ran through the 13th of each month starting with January 2011 (before I began this process of remembering every day that passes, so I don't always have images for the early months).

When I reached 13 October 2012, I drew a blank. Checking out surrounding days, 14 October was also blank. I had all the days for the rest of the month and all the other 13ths in the review.

It teased at me all day. I tried running through all Fridays and Saturdays, hoping returning to this previous review method would invoke brain muscle memory and the image for Friday would trigger recall of the Saturday 13 October image. It did not.

I explored the surrounding images in depth and they brought up other memories, including for the 13th and 14th, but these did not feel like the images I had chosen to pin to my mental calendar.

I was a little frustrated to go to sleep without resolving the issue. It was the first time this has happened. But as I would be faced with recalling 14 October in my review today, I was at least assured that I would not forget the problem and move on.

I went for a long run this morning. Partly because one was due and partly because I notice there are some days when the review process is easier and I hoped the increased flow of oxygenated blood might help. It didn't.

Memory of the days had come back to me in quite a lot of detail. I was half sure that one of these events - going into town with my sister-in-law for the first time since returning to my wife's country a week before - was my image for 13 October. I decided to select one of the key images for 14 October and turn it into my memory tag.

My blog today was to be about this story - selecting a new image because I had forgotten the original one. But travelling into work the image suddenly popped into my mind with total certainty: we had met my brother-in-law (another part of the family) for lunch.

I'm not sure why it had not come to me before. I made a point of remembering the first meeting with different relatives since returning to my wife's country and had explored whether this had been the case for 14 October without it triggering the recall.

Although I have a slight niggle about whether the image for 13 October is the one I first selected, I am back to a full set. I'm not ready to retreat to a more substantial review to refresh the images more frequently, but I am conscious that strengthening associations between successive images would be beneficial.

At the same time, being able to remember the events of a day, if not the image I had selected as a memory tag, is not a failure. I still rememered the day that passed.

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