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Things we remember and things we forget.

(44 Posts)
mrsmopp Fri 10-Feb-17 12:32:39

I often forget where I've put things and I can't remember what I did last week. I forget people's names and place names.
But I can remember all the words of hymns we sang in school assembly. I can remember all the names of the colleagues I worked with in my first mod in 1961.
Isn't memory strange?

callgirl1 Fri 10-Feb-17 17:00:54

My husband used to say wasn`t it funny that although I nearly always forgot things I had to do, I could quote word for word what was said in arguments 40 or so years ago!

Nona4ever Sat 11-Feb-17 09:40:13

My mum used to say that she could tell you the price of gas per therm 35 years ago, but not what she had for morning.

Marydoll Sat 11-Feb-17 10:05:55

I'm the same. I can remember my mother's co-op dividend number from 50+ years ago, but not where I put my car keys 30 mins ago. About 6 months ago, I lost my mum's engagement ring. I knew it was somewhere in the house. We were decorating all of upstairs, so I was sure I would find it had dropped under something and we would eventually find it, as we moved furniture. I was really upset when it didn't turn up. The other day, I found it in the corner of an old purse. I have absolutely no recollection of putting it there.

EmilyHarburn Sat 11-Feb-17 10:12:25

There are two major categories of memory: long-term memory and short-term memory.

Long-term memory is our brain's system for storing, managing, and retrieving information.

Short-Term Memory
Closely related to "working" memory, short-term memory is the very short time that you keep something in mind before either dismissing it or transferring it to long-term memory.

Sadly in older age our working memory declines which means that our short term memory does not have an effective pathway to send new information to our long term memory. Also we may be paying less attention to things so not register them in the first place.

Hence train the brain programmes.

blueberry1 Sat 11-Feb-17 10:25:35

I'm exactly the same - I can spend ages searching for something that I put down 5 minutes ago!I also put things in the wrong place.Found my underwear in the kitchen bin the other day,when I'd meant to put it in the washing machine.No idea what I did last week but can recall childhood events in detail.It can be amusing sometimes but it is so frustrating as well.

sarahellenwhitney Sat 11-Feb-17 10:27:06

Apparently?? this is part of the aging process and as we all differ biologically no two people are necessarily going to be the same so don't panic that you are losing your marbles.

The part of the brain that stores short term,, deteriorates sooner than the part that will remember who your best friend was in junior school.

allule Sat 11-Feb-17 10:37:19

For finding things, my daughters bought me a tracker for christmas, with 4 different colour fobs, and a control with four matching the button and the fob beeps. I have one in my purse, one on my keys, one in my glasses case and one spare. The purse one was useful when I found my purse dropped in the car and out of sight.
Of course, I had to settle on a safe place to keep the Control!

Nelliemaggs Sat 11-Feb-17 10:39:58

I have few childhood memories but those I do have are all, except one, bad sad and I worry about what sort of person that makes me. The good one is of my daily chore of laying the fire, making paper firelighters and building a little house of coal over them and setting fire to it. Only one of my chores that I liked. I only remember occasions like deaths, getting the cane at school, a hairdryer going bang when I was having it used on me etc. etc. Why would I block out all the happy times, supposing that there were some.
I remember happy things I have done as an adult but like many of us lose things all the time and even missed a doctor appointment twice confused

amt101 Sat 11-Feb-17 11:18:21

Another thing about memory, I forget names, say of famous people, but can see their face in my mind's eye. I do generally remember eventually but by then the moment has passed.
I think you collect so much 'stuff' in your memory that your brain has to claw through it and it takes time, sort of like an old computer.

radicalnan Sat 11-Feb-17 11:36:58

I recently had to register my father's death and found it daunting and strange, when sorting through his things, I found that I had registered my mother's death many years ago and had totally forgotten that.........I would have sworn that I hadn't.

When I watch detectives on telly say 'where were you on the night on the 14th' I wonder does anyone know unless they were doing something momentous.

Lorelei Sat 11-Feb-17 12:22:23

I no longer have any childhood memories and my short-term memory is pretty atrocious! A while back I couldn't even remember the word 'kettle' - stood in the kitchen staring at it for what seemed like ages, getting more and more frustrated as the minutes rolled by - I knew it made hot water and made coffee but couldn't bring 'kettle' to mind. Strangely I can remember the postcodes from all the addresses I lived at for any length of time but wouldn't have a clue if asked what I did yesterday, or any other day, can only recall 2 phone numbers, and seem to spend a fair bit of time apologising for things I've forgotten. I've always read a lot and used to be proud of having something not far off from a photographic memory - I could quote from books, even remembering page numbers, facts about the author, connections etc - now I struggle to get through each book and can't recall the page before let alone the whole story and it takes me ages whereas I used to read many books in one sitting. Now, where did i leave the rest of my marbles?

Chewbacca Sat 11-Feb-17 12:25:44

When I was a young 'un, my first job was in a a bank; long before computers were on the scene. Account numbers were allocated according to the first letter of your surname ie Jones would begin with 10 (being the 10th letter of the alphabet) and so on. We had to learn the alphabet numerically and now, almost 60 years later, I can still recite the alphabet numerically. It's of no use to me now whatsoever and I often wonder how much brain space this useless information is taking up!

Bijou Sat 11-Feb-17 12:25:58

I agree with amt101 that the brain has collected so much information over the years that it takes time to search through it. I cannot remember people's names, names of plants etc. but they come to mind some time later. Yet I can recall events from ninety years ago before I was three years old including the names of our neighbours!

Auntieflo Sat 11-Feb-17 12:54:19

Marydoll, just reading through this thread, I found myself saying Mum's co-op dividend number. I can't remember though the last time it was used.

HootyMcOwlface Sat 11-Feb-17 13:05:10

Haha! I can remember my mum's Coop number too - we had to give it to bread man when he called and the milkman.

mrsmopp Sat 11-Feb-17 13:50:38

Our co-op number was 13762, I used to keep repeating it to myself all the way to the shop. Didn't dare forget, - mum kept all the little slips.
My DS can recite all the registration numbers of every car we've ever had. I was amazed - right the way back to our first one, a Ford Anglia.

Chewbacca Sat 11-Feb-17 13:56:25

It's so funny that so many of you are mentioning the Co OP numbers because the bank that taught me the numerical alphabet was also the Co op! They must have had a way of dinning numbers into us!

mrsmopp Sat 11-Feb-17 14:11:29

But I don't even know our current car number! I think men's brains work differently from ours.

mrsmopp Sat 11-Feb-17 14:14:12

We learned our tables by reciting them in class every morning. Another example of things being 'dinned' into us. We remember the though don't we!

boggles Sat 11-Feb-17 14:18:42

Strangely enough my memory has improved with age. I never take a shopping list and very rarely forget anything. Weird, yes. There are memory techniques one can use.

wilkinsb Sat 11-Feb-17 14:46:45

I find that incredibly frustrating!! Oh joy of age!!

DS64till Sat 11-Feb-17 15:20:00

Me too and often something on tv, radio or randomly will trigger a memory off that I haven't had for years ?

pensionpat Sat 11-Feb-17 15:42:23

I have met women from my parents' generation who never forget their husbands service pay number. Apparently every time they bought something from the NAAFI they had to quote it.

Morgana Sat 11-Feb-17 16:29:27

I Try to remember car registration no by making it into names. E. G. A Y M became Ayr an youth movement! And D M E became department of mental energy!