Thursday, 2 January 2014

No more drum

I have just run into a problem with the mental calendar I use to remember every day that passes.

The calendar in my mind's eye is like a month-to-view calendar over which I walk. I have visualised the 12 sheets for 2013 laid on a drum in front of the flaming digits of the year.

With the New Year, the drum rotated. I stepped from 31 December 2013 - far from the digits of 2013 - to 1 January 2014, right below the flaming number.

As if by magic this closed off 2013 as complete.

But today I found a problem in my morning review. This involves recalling the images for two days per week over the past six months. It being Thursday 2 January 2014, I began with 2 July 2013 - a Tuesday, I recall, then 3rd and 4th July to bring me to the Thursday. From then on I recalled the images pinned to the Wednesday and Thursday of each week up to 2 December 2013, then ran through the day sequentially until I reached today.

It struck me how different the sensation was to the review I conducted on 31 December 2013. The year was done.

A little later I had some spare minutes and so decided to run through my long review, which is for a day per month, in this case the 2nd of each month.

Here's where the drum visualisation presented a problem. Walking over the days in 2011 and 2012 seemed very different, as if the drum was now fixed on 2014 and those calendar sheets were at sharply inclined angles.

I found it so disconcerting I decided to scrap the whole drum visualisation outright and have the years stretching out on a flat plane - the past to the left, the future to the right.

Now the sensation when I am walking over the calendar for past years is the same as when I first laid down the pinned the images down as memory tags. One thing I've learned is that familiarity and repetition in the review process is a great benefit.

Curiously, I initially found my mind's eye automatically saw the numbers for the past years as less luminescent. This is something I've corrected – I went every year to remain fresh.

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