Saturday, 16 July 2016

Refresh technique for coping with over four years

I have been following this process of remembering every day that passes for four and a half years now, still without losing a day.

But every now and then I've had to change how I refresh the images pinned to my mental calendar as memory tags. A month ago I made a major change as I was becoming overwhelmed again. I had been recalling two days from every month for the years 2011 - 2013 on one day and then for the period 2014 - present on the next day. It was proving too difficult to complete, so I stopped.

The method I am using now is to recall images from one year only. But not just two days. Eight days.

At the moment, I've been running through the days 8 - 15 of each month. This is very relaxed because I have 5 years to cover and 8 days to do them in. I can have a day off, or take a couple of days to cover a year.

Once I've orientated myself on my mental calendar, it doesn't really take much longer to remember the 8-day window than the two-day window. 

I have chosen 8 days because it helps in navigating as I imagine I am walking over the calendar.

For example, the 8th January 2015 was a Thursday, I remember. Running through to the 15th takes me to Thursday again. Finishing on the same day means I automatically know the day for the start of the window.

I learnt the patterns long ago to find the same day in the next month. 

January has 31 days, so I move three days along and a month back to find 8 February is a Sunday. 15 February is also Sunday, of course. 

The 8th and 15th March are Sundays (2015 wasn't a leap year). 

March has 31 days, so I move three days on again to take me to Wednesday for 8 and 15 April. April has 30 days, so two days on to Friday for 8 and 15 May. And so on.

The 8-day windows are proving better for reinforcing the landscape of the completed years. And the time between recalling each image on my mental calendar remains the same with this technique. I will think of every day of this period once per month, even if only for a fraction of a second.

I still treat the past 6 months differently. Recalling two days per week, then every day of the last month. I generally do the former every other day.

So now my refresh process is simpler, more relaxed and may not need to change until I have completed 8 years of memories.

But if you want to try this process, see my post "starting out" under "about me".

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