Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Mountain Top Memory, Vail, CO

I recently ran across the results of a small study in the journal Memory of people aged 59 to 92 that suggested we make most of our important memories by age 25. In fact, they concluded that major life transitions such as college, military, moving, marriage and children are even more focused in early adulthood between the ages of 17 and 24.

I guess it’s a good thing they didn’t study me, as my results would have been tossed out as an apparent anomaly. I did experience similar early life experiences, but I continued to log in wonderful memories in mid-life and I’m certain that I’m still not finished in my senior years either. Sitting down with a pen and paper or an electronic keyboard and listing your own life highlights can be revealing though. First of all, the everyday, mundane moments when we are “in the eye of the hurricane” don’t register very high on the Richter Memory Scale. But it’s those hours of reading a good book or engaged in good conversation and simply being that notch the stress of life down to tolerable levels. They’re not memorable, but they’re good for the soul.

You really have to pause life in an effort to open the saved files of your life. Our magnificent and mysterious human brain and mind and soul quite likely contain literally every moment of our existence. The mundane and bad moments do seem to be on a longer leash than the outstanding and good times, however. Times like mountain top experiences, life-changing incidents, loving moments, and major milestones can be re-membered and can sustain us, especially later in life.

Even the haunting lyrics of memorable songs sung years ago can still be retrieved by those suffering from severe memory loss. Songs like Memory invoke mental replays of good times experiencing the musical together and the reflection of “Memory, all alone in the moonlight, I smile at the old days…Let the memory live again. When the dawn comes tonight will be a memory too. And a new day will begin”.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it’s a memory”.
--Dr. Seuss

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