At times, I have a very poor memory. A week after I see a movie, I may not remember the details that others who saw it with me remember. I don’t recall past fun events that I have shared with others in conversation. I don’t remember when I have had certain conversations with someone; for example, I asked my fiance the same question within minutes, not remembering that I had already asked her.
For many people, that type of an interaction may seem normal, especially when I am only days away from turning 51 years old. Our systems age as our bodies age, and there are times when we may not remember as clearly as we have in the past. There are some times when this happens and I feel light hearted about it; not concerned about anything. Then, other times, I feel scared and vulnerable. I wonder if I am in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease. I wonder if I will not remember people and things around me. I am full of fear.
Brenda posed a question to me to consider, what are memories for anyway? A way to recollect that which we have done in the past? A way to still connect with those around us? What purpose does it really serve?
If I think about it from that perspective, I come up with many things that help me to give it less importance. First, the supposed memories that I hold may not be real; even though they feel real to me, the brain can be flawed in the accuracy of what it recalls, especially if we are talking about something from in the far away past. Secondly, whether or not I can remember a detail of a past event or not, does not indicate how important that event was to me. Just like a trinket from an activity that I have enjoyed isn’t required to be able to recollect my fondness for it.
The biggest realization that I keep trying to remind myself, is that I am living more and more in the present moment. I am right there when we walk the lake, go to a concert or spend time with my family. I am not anywhere else for most of the time when I am there. So, if I can’t remember it later on, who cares? I have enjoyed it immensely, and am getting about the business of enjoying another aspect of my life next.
A memory is just that, a memory. Whether I easily recollect it or not, it is in my past, and today, I get to live in the now instead. And let the future unfold for itself.