We have more information available to us than ever before yet I can remember less than ever before. It takes me a minute to remember my wife’s phone number. I have even given out my number wrong twice before.
I don’t know if this is necessarily a bad thing because when I don’t know something, it takes 5 to 10 seconds to learn it or to direct someone to the right answer. And that is the power of Google.
But part of me is worried about my memory when I’m 65. Dementia is one of the scariest things to me because you lose your mental processes and develop a memory disorder and that is terrifying to me. But I believe that we should maybe switch our minds to forgetting the information that is easy for us to obtain quickly and hold on to the most essential things. Like what we felt when hanging out fighting monsters with our kids.
My son, Harrison, and I went to the park the other weekend and it was early in the morning (9:30 am or so) and we were the only ones there so of course, I got to have one-on-one time with my son. And he wanted to play ninjas so he “gave” me an imaginary sword and had me fight the monsters that were climbing the stairs of the big, scary slide while he rode down the slide kicking them down all the way. Then we had to go defend our ninja house (the monkey bars).
It was one of those moments where I could easily forget and move on, especially if I have all this other data taking up space in my mind. But honestly, what data is worth taking up that space in my memory? What phone number is worth remembering over that moment of bonding with my son?
Yes, you can take this too far and remember nothing but honestly, I am learning to hold on to the memories and forget the data that can be obtained by a simple search on my phone. The data can be retained. The memories can’t be without a conscious effort on your part.
So let’s be about the experiences. Let’s try and do all we can to first create those great moments and then fight to hold onto them. And you can do this, by simply cherishing and celebrating them when they come to mind.
What’s one of your best recent memories?