“[Y]ou don’t have to keep so many things with you, your memories still remain within you. All the amazing memories you had are still vivid without things to remind you.”
— Akiko Matsuura (source)
I think I’m losing my memory.
I was reminded (har) of this yesterday, in fact. I visited the Apple retail store where I used to work, and sat with some friends for dinner.
“I remember this phone you worked on once,” said one of the guys, and described the situation down to the hair color of the customer.
“I don’t even remember that,” I said, and it was true.
When I was little, my father told me that children and adults have different kinds of ways to store memories. Kids perceive the world without any filter of previous perception, so every single thing that happens creates a completely new memory.
I see this in my six year old — she lives so hard and so in-the-moment that everything is incredibly vivid for her. (I remind myself that she experiences things differently every time I’m happily zoning out at my computer and she says, “Mama, I’m bored.”)
Adults have “memory batches.” If someone’s memory is of sitting in an office cube, the days are no longer going to be remembered individually. Instead, each day is “batched” with similar memories of days spent sitting in an office cube. Every trip to Publix becomes batched with similar trips, etc.
So. Am I forgetting things because I’m letting each day pass without taking a moment to make it different? Am I allowing myself to remember things in batches, like an adult, instead of freshly like a child?
Someone once said that traveling allows people to experience things as children do, simply because it’s all so different that it jolts people out of complacency. In fact, I have clear memories from the last time I traveled… So what’s the solution?
It’s to make each memory different somehow, or remember more consciously. Or perhaps to live a little more in the present!
I guess this post fits my overall goal for the blog, which is to find ways to live better within these three beige walls…