Memory

I remember in school I could remember everyone’s name. Many of us could. We would know someone’s name in part because the teacher would always call them by name. The problem with adulthood is that if I don’t see someone’s name in writing or hear someone call it out, it is sometimes a challenge to remember someone’s name.

I have neighbors who I’ve lived next to for 15 years and I sometimes forget their names. It isn’t for lack of trying. Sometimes I focus and remember their name and then I try to recall it later and can’t think of it. I don’t think this is an age thing.

For the most part, I think my memory is much better than it was when I was younger. I take better care of my body. I intentionally try to recall things, call it reflection if you will, so I keep those people alive in my mind.

Lately, I’ve been trying to recall memories from an early age. I know they are up there. But, I can’t passively recall much from certain periods of my life. Some of that is good because there are parts of my life that I would prefer to forget.

Growing as a person, I want to do things better and make new positive memories. Sometimes, revisiting war stories too much can lead to dwelling and not working through those memories is not good, in my opinion. Remembering relationships, for example ex-girlfriends, is challenging because while I can think about the relationship and what I said or did during the relationship, having burned those bridges, I am not able to discuss them with the other person. That is very frustrating. Maddening even.

I’m going to work through some memory strategies to see if I can improve my name recognition and other facts. Writing things down could help. Emptying my thoughts into spreadsheets has proven to be a great help in sorting through everything instead of trying to remember it all.

One strategy I just read about is called “loci strategy.” It is an association technique apparently used for “centuries” and by leading memory “athletes.” It helps to improve long term memory as well.

The use it or lose it saying is very true. I know in the past I’ve had what you might call short term learning. I learned something, committed the lesson to memory, but after a while I just stopped doing it that way and reverted back to my old self. I need to spend time every day thinking through my development and refresh my thinking.

I may stop drinking tea in the morning to see if that helps. I find that messing with the brain in any way, especially with alcohol or cigarettes, has a significant effect on my memory, emotions and ability to process thoughts. I need to stay positive and I have found that, for some reason, if I am frustrated when trying to remember things, those negative emotions can then be tied to those memories. Very frustrating because then my head is filled with more negativity than I’d like to feel.

Make remembering easier. Less negativity. More happiness. Get ‘r done.