Memory aids and monkey business

Memory aids. Think mnemonics, aide-mes or more boring, reminder notes and mind joggers. Think, if you must, of lists to aid memory, although I strongly believe are amazing creative props.

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Maybe all memory aids should be as playful and colourful and creative as we can make them. If we need them, let’s have some fun and enjoy the process of choosing and using them.

The older I get the more afraid I become that I’ll end up with dementia . I read some research the other day, in a quite reputable medical journal, that there’s a link between Alzheimer’s Disease and the chicken pox virus. Scared me silly for a minute or two, given my quite recent history of a horrid bout of shingles.

(Reminder to everyone – check with your GP about shingles vaccination.)

Confession time!

My  memory’s  mostly OK, except when I’m off colour, trying to do too much or   stressed. Then I lose my spectacles, purse and car keys, which makes me more miserable and adds to the stress.

I regularly forget to turn my phone on and I’m trying to remember always to buy pants with pockets so  I don’t have to look for my phone when it rings.

My kids will tell you that forgetting people’s names is an old fault.  Some of them claim that when they were young, I often went through their five siblings’ names before I got to theirs. I deny that but admit I forget names more often these days.

On the other hand, I can remember what the kettle, the stove and the washing machine are for, and how to use them. On the domestic scene, doing well!

I regularly forget to check that I have the keys to my car. We keep both sets of keys in a pretty box, a gift from Louisa, which sits near the plant on the table next to the front door.

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I’ve lost count of the times in the last six months that I’ve grabbed a set of keys, set off on the trek to the car in the second basement of the building and discovered that the keys in my hand don’t open the car where my umbrella and shopping bags live.

It’s a fair hike to the car from our apartment, and frustrating to go all that way and have to come back up in the lift and down the corridor for the right keys.

It’s one way to get in a few (quite a few) extra steps in a day. But then, I’d rather walk outside in the sun or rain. And it would be good not to make myself late through carelessness.

I clearly needed a memory aid, a way remind myself to take the right keys every time.

My new memory aids

Off to Target for a distinctive key ring. If I need reminding, I’ll do it with flair.

No key rings. It’s a smallish store close to home and not completely stocked.  I scoured the toy department looking for something to put on my keys. Such fun! The toys I usually buy are gifts or to stock my grandma basket. It’s been a  long time since I bought a toy for myself.

The bright pink monkey who now guards my keys feels soft and velvety. His eyes open and shut and remind me of my beloved childhood doll, Bubbles. He waves his tail  and  gives me  a tiny frission of happiness when I see him in the key box or feel him in my bag.

Amazing how a little toy that cost five dollars can serve such a useful function as well as give an old woman so much pleasure.

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6 thoughts on “Memory aids and monkey business

  1. Ohh! I’m off to KMart – or did you say Target? Are they the same? Are they here in Perth? Did you buy your ‘toy’ in Perth or on one of your magic travels? What did you buy it for?

    Damn!! What is wrong with me??

    • Oh, dear, your poor memory, Elizabeth! We need to have a chat. Would you like a magic elephant in your pocket to remind you of…whatever you want to remember?

      • Is there anything I want to remember? Oh yes … i know!! Somebody – is it a person? – is going to get me a magic elephant. Could an elephant fit in my pocket? Uhm …

  2. I have a specific place for my car keys therefore I never forget where they are. I rarely lose things apart from paperwork and this is because the Paperwork in question often has more than one category so I forget which one it’s filed under.

    I forget why I’ve entered a room but I’ve always have done that. My late husband once asked if I’d lost my vocabulary! I had to answer yes and that is the one thing that bothers me the most. The word I want is always on the tip of my tongue!

    Though I can recall dates and events very easily.

    I have always gone through my kid’s names before finally hitting on the correct one, I have even called them by the dog or cat’s name!

    • Thanks for your comment, Sue. Something that fascinates me is the way we remember and forget things in patterns as you suggest when you say ‘I’ve always done that.’

      Although I used to forget which child I was talking to all those years ago, as a great-grandmother I can remember the names and birth days of my thirty direct descendants. Weird.

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