Useless Memories

How long should memories last? Some you’d like to keep forever, like the one time you saw your great-grandmother or the one where your mean sister landed face-first in the snow. Other memories you could live without, because they are painful. I have many unimportant memories for which I want a delete button. I would like the brain space for things I want to remember.

A week ago I had a wellness visit with my doctor, which included a memory test. The PA told me three words I should remember for a few minutes. While holding onto those words for dear life, I had to fill in a circle with the numbers for a clock and draw the hands at a particular time. I don’t remember numbers easily, so I couldn’t tell you what time I depicted. I should not have worried about the words, because days later I could tell you they were mouse, sky, and quarter in that order.

The reason I want a delete button is that as soon as I finished repeating the three words, I could have told her that I remembered pen and table from the previous year. That was 14 months ago. I remembered writing about it, and sure enough, the words were pen, table, and apple. I didn’t need those words! I discarded apple along the way, but I clung to pen and table. Almost daily I press an icon on my phone that cleans up notifications. Zip! Zip! Zip! The junk disappears. Would you stand in line with me to buy a brain vac?

39 thoughts on “Useless Memories

  1. Tests like the one you took make me smile in that the words you were asked to remember sound more like prompts for a children’s story, than a way to determine if you’re still with it. Which I’m glad to hear that you are. With it, that is.

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  2. I sure would. They haven’t given me a brain test yet but they are concerned with my balance. They asked if I fall and I answered yes. Never should have done that. I fall occasionally but not weekly or even monthly so I think it’s much ado about nothing. We can buy your brain vac and maybe some steadiness for me!

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    1. A technician tested my balance when I went for a bone density scan. I had a hard time standing on one foot with my arms crossed. I practice it every day now. If John comes in and looks at me questioningly, I say I’m storking.

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      1. I can’t stand on one foot. I think that happened when I broke my kneecap. It also broke my balance! My doc wants me to get an evaluation from a physical therapist. I’m thinking about it but its not high on my list.

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      2. I walked with a cane for two and a half years. Everyone thought something had gone wrong with the knee replacement, but it turned out to be a muscle in my back. A magical physical therapist helped me learn to stand on that leg, and I’ve walked well ever since. I should look to see what other exercises are good for balance.

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  3. I’ll be one of the first in the queue to buy one the minute they’re invented Anne. My memory is just about full and most of it I neither want or need. Last week I tried to remember the first line of a song I’d heard from the lounge to my bedroom. By the rime I sat in front of the computer it had completely gone.Yet yesterday morning I mentioned beans to someone and found myself singing the Heinz tune that was on years ago. I don’t need that now. A delete button would be wonderful as would an instant record button to save me lossing more tunes.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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  4. Ah, I you have my deepest sympathy. For me it is tv commercials. I can still remember whole songs from adverts going back to the 80s. And repetitive exercises only serve to prove that we remember things when we repeat them. You would have been repeating them in your mind for fear of forgetting. Whereas when we put down our car keys in a stupid place, we don’t then go around the house saying, The keys are in the fridge.

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    1. I think you are onto something. When you put your keys in the fridge, immediately begin singing your refrain to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell, “The keys are in the fridge. The keys are in the fridge. Hi! Ho! the derry-o! The keys are in the fridge.”

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  5. Anne,
    I can remember bible verses from Sunday school one of the first ones I learnt being ” And as ye would that men would do to you, do ye also to them likewise”. This is good memory. There are cringe memories too- of things I have done in the past and which make me embarrassed when I remember( which I didn’t)- like the time when I cried for almost 2 days after a haircut and wanted my hair stuck on back and troubled everyone around me. ( DElETE, for sure).
    I wish I knew how to remember bible verses now- I can’t learn a verse for the life of me. Also I wish I could delete the painful memories of my college days/workplace- it would help me forgive people too, if I had a Delete button- all useless memories and a total waste of time and brain space. Oh I do wish I had a DELETE button and a Screenshot button for memories to keep for ever too.
    Susie

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    1. I love your idea of a Screenshot button for my brain. I don’t often try to memorize a Bible verse, but if I did, I’d use the trick I used with David. We’d make up a movement to go with the words. If the verse said, “Look from afar” we’d raise a hand to shade the eyes as we peered forward. Once he memorized the verse that way, he could do the movements in his head and repeat the verse.

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  6. A delete button would be so very handy for my brain! My sister in law has the theory that we can only hold so much information in our brains and we have to kick something out so other stuff can get in…….I think she may be right.

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  7. I’m forgetful on doing things but I have an embarrassing great memories like I can remember word by word what I’m told months before and my visual memory is as good .So etimes I pretend do not remember details about situations and people because I’m afraid they might think I’m a weirdo or a stalker/obsessed person🤷🏻‍♀️

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  8. I sympathize with your anxiousness about remembering those three words! I would have been the same way!! As far as deleting memories that are just taking up space, I am with you on that! There are a few I would definitely erase and so manyI would put in a permanent file as I never want to forget them!

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  9. I can definitely picture getting nervous about remembering three words. It’s sort of like how I always remember my email password, but if I suddenly have to log in quickly because of something important and overdue, I draw a blank. I’ll join the line for deleting useless thoughts. I’d also like to have an on/off switch for my brain/mind. I would click it off at ten each night, sleep peacefully, and then turn it back on, come morning. Like they say about meditation, it would probably be very healthy. 🙂

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