And I’m not sure if it’s buried, misfiled, or purged. After all, there’s only so much memory space, right?
Kind of. As much as memory storage is relative to overall health, which is affected by all the stuff we are familiar with, like diet, exercise, sleep, and stress.
Memory serves us well, as long as we don’t live in the storage bins. But what is memory? (Don’t worry, you won’t learn that here.) As we know it, it is simply a dynamic process of neurons encoded by conscious and unconscious thought, with a measure of observation and dash of awareness.
Supposedly, we can train and expand our recollection ability through learning. There are volumes written about theories and methods for the most efficient ways to build the encoding, storing, and recalling process. The thing is though, memories are not frozen in time, but rather experiences and associations which change over time. I can’t recall who (duh), but someone in the know described remembering as creative reimagination.
Talking to one of my sisters yesterday, we joked that when remembering events, we don’t know whether we remember what actually happened, or remember what we remembered. In either case, remembering is, at best, a reconstruction colored by our own (unique) awareness.
Memories, or what we remember, isn’t stored in some kind of brain ether. Memories are stored in specialized, information-transmitting cells. But those cells, like all our cells, are constantly changing. In a real sense, we are completely different people than we were 10 years ago. Cells that make up our body are not the same cells of 10 years ago. Which means life is fluid (duh). And so is our memory (double duh).
For those so inclined. the good news is, they say, that a healthy mix of aerobic and anaerobic exercise improves oxygen and nutrient delivery to the brain, increasing neurotransmitter levels (slowing down normal decay), and giving us our best chance to recollect what we care to remember.
Now if only I could remember what that was, duh.