Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Fitting it all in and playing the song

I can remember each of the 2000+ days since I began this process of remembering of every day that passes. Lembransation works, but I need to spend some time each day recalling the images pinned to my mental calendar as memory tags or they will fade.

The posts tagged with "how I remember" show how my methodology has changed over time.

Recently, I have made bigger changes to make it more relaxed. This is possible because I have confidence in the techniques I have developed over these five and a half years.

Every few days when I am waking up I will think back to the same date in past years. Today is 1st August, so I reviewed the memory tags for 1 - 4 August for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. This takes little time. It serves as a useful reminder of upcoming birthdays and anniversaries. It is nice to be able to tell people, you remember this time two years ago we were....

Until recently, I was doing this review every morning, but to save time I use a larger window. It is often the case that I need to scan over adjacent days in any case to orientate myself, so this makes use of the effort.

Every morning, or at some point during the day, I will run through every day from starting a month ago. Every now and then, I'll extend this to a couple of months, or even longer, if I feel the earlier images are not a set as I would like. Sometimes I will resurrect an earlier strategy of reviewing a two or three day window for every week of the past 6 months, every Monday and Tuesday, for example.

Basically, I am flexible. I have this range of techniques and I'll fit in whatever I have time and feel the need for.

My long-term review now consists of reviewing half a month at a time from the start of this process over a period of half a month. So I am currently reviewing 28 of each month to 14 of the following month and have until 14 August to complete the process, though sometimes I'll overrun. Then I'll take 14 - 28 of every month until 28 August.

I do have the ambition to complete a year per day, but sometimes scrabbling around for memory tags means I get so far and then leave it for the next day. So far, every memory tag comes back to me eventually, though some are a little vague because they are little more than "I was in the office", which is more of a placeholder than something significant with details I want to remember.

I continue to tell myself that the longer the period is ago, the easier it should be to remember, because I have refreshed the images so many times. The landscape is familiar. Often there is a whole week I can cover in a fraction of a second, because I created interconnected images. For example, they may be on the theme of where I had lunch and who with. Once I have one image and remembered the theme, the whole sequence is there.

Philosophically, I'm trying to take this further. I am having another go at learning a musical instrument and can pick out tunes by ear on the keyboards and guitar (a skill I had not developed in past attempts). It amazes me how my brain has stored songs that I may not have heard for years, but are instantly familiar so that I can recognise when I am hitting the right key or plucking the right string.

What if each year of my mental calendar was a song, as easily remembered?

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