Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Why I find associating dates with memory tags important

It being the 6 August, my morning review involved a quick run through the images pinned to my mental calendar for every day of the past month.

On Sunday 6 July I ran my first half marathon. Only a month ago. This surprised me. It seems a lot longer. I was unsure how it would go as I was recovering from an injury, but since then I have gone from strength to strength, embarked on a training programme for my next half marathon in September, and have run a 10 km race. The half marathon landmark feels like it should be further away given the progress along that road.

By contrast, when I came to Saturday 12 July, I found it hard to believe the memory captured was not more recent. I took my parents on an outing to old haunts. They are less mobile now and don't travel far on their own. We had a very enjoyable time and I suppose that is why it still seems fresh.

That same day Brazil was beaten by Holland in the 3rd place play-off in the soccer world cup. The following day, Germany beat Argentina to raise the trophy. Both events and the tournament as a whole already feel consigned to history. So 12 July left me perplexed, containing memories both recent and far away.

The following weekend, 19 and 20 July, I had a great time cycling with friends. I am glad I will not forgot those days and will revisit them forevermore in reviews. Again, it seems a shock they have already receded so far.

It was Sunday 27 July when I ran the 10 km race. Just over a week ago, but already done and dusted as my focus is on the training runs scheduled for this week.

Last week, I was preparing and travelling to a conference that took place at the weekend. The images for the week come as a package, linked together. But that package now has the lid closed and is tied up with string. I would probably think little more of it, except my review process stops it fading to nothing.

If these images were not pinned to my mental calendar, but simply drifted into my recollection, no doubt I would be hard-pressed to place them.

My sense of the time passed since an event is unreliable.