Memory is the mother of all wisdom.
Good morning; I am back. One of the things I did over the last few days was undergo a rigorous seven hours of mental performance tests. They tested my linguistic skills, my reasoning ability, my analytical aptitude, memory retention and more. It wore me out and my body kept asking when I was going to take my daily nap.
The good news is that I did well for “For a guy your age” in fact they said I was above average and there is no sign of any of the deterioration associated with early stage dementia. The bad news is that when I asked about my difficulty remembering names and words they said it was because I had an old brain.
When I asked about what I might do to recover my previous memory function they said the only solution was reincarnation. Since I am not ready to leave this life I will just continue calling folks whose names do not surface quickly, buddy, pall, friend or the like. What I thought was interesting is that I have other doctors who have said the only way I could correct a chronic malady was to start life over again. So my friends I will continue walking a little slower, live with my delayed recall of names and continue to enjoy the friendship of so many of you, thanks for the memories.
I recently read the following recommendations from Dr. Alex Lickerman that may help if I can remember what they are.
Strategies for Remembering
Become interested in what you’re learning. We’re all better remembering what interests us. Few people, for example, have a difficult time remembering the names of people they find attractive. If you’re not intrinsically interested in what you’re learning or trying to remember, you must find a way to become so.
Find a way to leverage your visual memory. You’ll be astounded by how much more this will enable you to remember. For example, imagine you’re at a party and are introduced to five people in quick succession. How can you quickly memorize their names? Pick out a single defining visual characteristic of each person and connect it to a visual representation of their name, preferably through an action of some kind. For example, you can remember It requires mental effort to do this, but if you practice you’ll be surprised how quickly you can come up with creative ways to generate these images. Here’s another example: How often do you forget where you left your keys, your sunglasses, or your wallet? The next time you put something down somewhere, pause a moment to notice where you’ve placed it, and then in your mind blow it up. If you visualize the explosion in enough detail, you won’t forget where you put it.
Write out the items to be memorized over and over and over. Writing out facts in lists improves recall if you make yourself learn the lists actively instead of passively. In other words, don’t just copy the list of facts you’re trying to learn but actively recall each item you wish to learn and then write it down again and again and again.
Get adequate sleep to consolidate and retain memories. Not just at night after you’ve studied but the day before you study as well. Far better to do this than to stay up cramming all night for an exam.
We do not remember days; we remember moments.
A woman goes to the local psychic in hopes of contacting her dearly departed grandmother. The psychic’s eyelids begin fluttering, her voice begins warbling, her hands float up above the table, and she begins moaning. Eventually, a coherent voice emanates, saying, “Granddaughter? Are you there?”
The customer, wide-eyed and on the edge of her seat, responds, “Grandmother? Is that you?”
“Yes granddaughter, it’s me.”
“It’s really, really you, grandmother?”, the woman repeats.
“Yes, it’s really me, granddaughter.”
The woman looks puzzled, “You’re sure it’s you, grandmother?”
“Yes, granddaughter, I’m sure it’s me.”
The woman pauses a moment, “Grandmother, I have just one question for you.”
“Anything, my child.”
“Grandmother, when did you learn to speak English?”
He said: I moved from Chicago to Houston and was nervous about the summers in this new city. My queries got this reply from a native Houstonian. “Sir, we have four seasons here: almost summer, summer, still summer, and Christmas.”
My dad told me that life is like a big game of solitaire. Until you get married. Then it’s like a big game of solitaire with a partner telling you you’re playing it wrong.
In a stationery store, I quickly picked out a card for my wife for our anniversary. The clerk was surprised by how little time it took me, and she began relating a story about another customer who spent a half-hour searching for the right anniversary greeting.
Noticing the man lingering over one card after another, the clerk went to see if she could help. “Is there a problem?” she asked.
“Yes, there is,” he replied ruefully. “I can’t find one my wife will believe.”
“I’m not a fatalist. But even if I were, what could I do about it?”
She said: According to Leah, my mother, she and Dad decided to start a family soon after he became an office manager. When months went by without success, they consulted a noted physician, who chose to examine Mom right then and there. “Please disrobe,” the doctor told her.
“With him in the room??” she yelled, pointing to my father.
Turning to Dad, the doctor said, “Aaron, I think I found the problem.”
“You may think your boss is stupid, but remember if he was smart you probably wouldn’t have a job”
He was extremely nervous about his first funeral service as a Navy chaplain, but the undertaker assured him that he would prompt him. All went well until, at the close, the undertaker whispered to him to instruct the family to come up and view the body.
“Will the family now come forward and pass around the bier,” he said. He cringed inwardly when he heard his own words.
Later, as he was leaving, he overheard two of the cemetery workers talking. “I didn’t get any beer,” one said. “Did you?”
“You heard the chaplain,” the other replied. “It was just for the family.”
We don’t forget…. Our heads may be small, but they are as full of memories as the sky may sometimes be full of swarming bees, thousands and thousands of memories, of smells, of places, of little things that happened to us and which came back, unexpectedly, to remind us who we are.
ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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