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Sometimes It's Tough to 'Remember When'

Updated on April 18, 2020
cherylone profile image

I have three children and seven grandchildren. I worked full time while raising my family. I have been there.

Wait a minute-that stocking was for the kids!  Naughty kitty.
Wait a minute-that stocking was for the kids! Naughty kitty. | Source

Times Change and Memories Seem to Hide

Some things just seem to stay alive in our memories like when holidays and birthdays took years to arrive (when it was actually a week or two that you were waiting) and then they were gone in seconds. Or when you danced your first dance with a member of the opposite gender, a guaranteed stepping stone. So many moments, so many days, so many memories; that tiny little brain that sits inside our skull can't possibly remember everything, or maybe it does. Maybe it tucks them all into little tiny pockets in the back of our brains so they are protected for when we need them. Our brains are sophisticated and computer-like so maybe that is what it does.

Um, when do I get to eat them?
Um, when do I get to eat them? | Source

Accessing is the Hard Part

You are busy with a career, family, kids, bills and keeping up with the Jones'. Days move much faster. Your poor over-worked brain doesn't have time to label your moments, it just tucks them away for the future. Then, just as you see something that reminds you of a moment in your life, your brain says "Oh yeah, I also have this memory and this one, just in case you are interested, I have more."

But, when you need one of those memories, (like when you are trying to tell someone how to use your old computer) your brain says "I don't remember that moment, can you give me more information." And, of course, you can't, so you get frustrated as the information dances on the tip of your tongue, leaving you with flashes of what you need, but giving you nothing you can use. It's not that the brain lost the memory, it is just that it had no time to label it when the memory was filed.

Let's get out a crowbar (mental not metal) and see if we can figure out how to get more of them out in the open (figure of speech, I didn't mean we were going to post them on a social site or anything like that.

How do we get in there?
How do we get in there? | Source


Power of Association. Does it work? Yes. (How fast does it work? Um, I'm working on that....)

Let's see if I can give you a good example: You sold your old computer to a friend when you bought a new one. Your friend doesn't know the first thing about computers so you try to give them a helping hand. Your brain, however, doesn't want to cooperate which means you can't remember the password. You type in word after word without success (and you seriously begin to think you might want to give your friend back their money so you can throw the "stupid thing" through a window). Take a deep breath, or two or three, until that urge goes away.

Now, you know that you use certain things as references when you create your passwords, right? Let your mind roam for a moment or three (don't rush this because rushing only ends in frustration). Think about your points of reference. Let your mind wander around them a bit . Think about some of the things you have used for passwords and for what items they were used. Then think about you and your old computer. Think about yourself sitting in front of the computer and typing in the password. Now, think about what passwords you might have used to unlock it. The memory you need will, usually, just pop into your head at that point. If it doesn't, throw the stupid thing through the window. (No, no, I was only kidding about that last part.)

No Window Breaking Please


How It Works.

When we remember things that happened around a memory we need, we can trick our brains into bringing out the memory. Well, maybe. Our brain works like a computer (as I said before) and a computer will always give all of the information it has if asked correctly. So, ask your brain correctly by using a memory you have to reach the memory you need.

Remember when--a journey through your thoughts.


  1. Remember when candy cost a penny?
  2. Remember when you had to pay to use the toilet?
  3. Remember when you were young and didn't need sleep?
  4. Remember when you couldn't wait for the Holidays?
  5. Remember when you felt your parents didn't know anything?
  6. Remember when the Monkeys Band were the greatest thing ever? (Uh, at least for the female population).
  7. Remember when your Grandparents sat you down and told you how it was when they were kids? "We had to walk to school, 100 miles through the snow and uphill, both ways."
  8. Remember when life made you smile?
  9. Remember when life made you cry?

Just take a moment to remember your moments.

© 2012 Cheryl Simonds


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