Saving Memories

Hello my Zebras and Spoonies! Thanks for coming and visiting with me today. I am glad that you are here. Today I am going to be talking about some ways that you can help keep track of your history.

Life is like a tapestry, woven from memories of people and events. Your individual tapestry reminds you of who you are, where you’ve been and what you’ve done. Sadly, there are many chronic illnesses that can effect the memories that make up a person’s tapestry. Everything from brain fog to dementia can change the way that our brains keep hold of our memories. If you’re one of the many people with an impaired memory, you can help manage this symptom by creating a tangible repository of memories for your self.

These tools can help by triggering your own recall of events. It can also help by strengthening memories through repeated exposure to the materials. While this will not replace your memory or help you think of things on the fly during conversations, it can give you a touch stone to help you recall important memories from your life. And for some, it can help you keep hold of your sense of self.

Store memories externally so you don’t have to rely on your organic memory. This will give you a physical thing that you can look back to in order to help you recall or review memories that you are having a difficult time remembering. Make collecting your memories a habit that you do on a regular basis and in a regular way so that you are more likely to capture the things that will become important to you later. It can often be difficult to know what details will be important in the moment which can be anxiety provoking for many. But just focus on capturing what strikes you as important at the time since that is pretty much how our memories work any way.

Memories can be preserved in many ways. You can:
•Collect photos into albums
•Write your stories in a journal
•Create a scrapbook with photos or other mementos, such as newspaper clippings, letters and postcards, greeting cards, sketches, poetry, and musical verses
•Store mementos in a special box or chest
•Make a video or audio recording of personal stories

You can even mix and match these different methods for different types of events. Keeping a daily journal is a great way a capture the general feel of your days and the thoughts that you are having while taking photos can be a great way to capture a special event like a wedding or birthday party. What’s important is that the way the memories are captured are methods that are both easy for you to use when capturing and when retrieving the memories.

You might want to start a reminiscing hobby with friends and family. Gather together people that are important to you and who you have shared events with. Invite them to tell stories. Encourage everyone to share things that they recall. By making this a social event, you allow others to become your memory bank while also engaging in a new bonding moment with them. Consider recording these reminiscing sessions so that they can be viewed later as another way to hold onto memories.

Documents also help. Other sources of information might include old documents, important papers or personal correspondence. Consider making copies of anything precious for safekeeping. These can help pin down important dates like marriages or birthdays. But they can also just be letters or messages that we’ve received from loved ones over the years.

I personally keep a journal that I try to write in every day. I summarize what I did that day, note how I am feeling and put down any thoughts that I’ve been pondering. I’ve done this for years. Because of that, I can go back through my journals and I can recapture much that I had forgotten. The thing that I have become the most aware of because of my journal is how unpredictable my memory can be. There are times that I can recall and event while there are other times that I can’t. Sometimes it seems like my memories are made up of smoke or mist and I cannot touch or hold them. Other times they seem as real as the current day I am living. Memory is a strange creature.

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