Memini, ergo sum, I remember, therefore I am. An adaptation of the famous philosophical statement by René Descartes. Memory is a very interesting phenomenon. It makes up part of our being, it creates emotions and is our ticket back to the land of the past. But can making memories also help us slow down time?
When remembering, we have a natural tendency to conceptualize memories in a romantic, nostalgic sense. We think of music, smells, images, moments, words, all the things that make that memory stay with us forever. I’m sure it’s happened to you. A certain smell evokes a specific moment of the past, a perfume or aftershave that reminds you of a person very close to you at that time. A song that you still know every word of that brings back a snapshot of a previous time in your life.
It’s good to think back and remember past times, times of happiness and joy and maybe of sadness and grief too. There’s nothing harmful in remembering where we were in our lives at that point. The person you once were. I remember my beautiful pre-kid life often, reminisce about those days with great happiness, and I also remember the days when my Mother was alive. A different person at both those points in my life, yet I remember them like they were yesterday. Time has frozen on those memories.
There’s never enough time. Time to do the chores, to go for a run, to finish the to-do list, to spend time with the kids. Every day it just seems to literally disappear and before you know it it’s bedtime again. I do believe that age is a factor. Time seems to go faster as we get older and research does back this up, speaking of how time passing quickly is linked to routine.
I recently finished reading a David Eagleman Book, a neuroscientist who extensively studies the perception of time. What he said rang true. “The more familiar the world becomes, the less information your brain writes down, and the more quickly time seems to pass.” David wrote of how the brain remembers the big things in life, the things your brain becomes connected to, full of emotion. For example, all of our firsts will forever be etched on our brain. First kiss, first job, first partner, first time we gave birth – we will never forget these things, ever. The novelty of these “first moments” create such rich memories that the time appears to last forever.
As we get older, we become more predictable. The firsts are not as regular and are replaced with more scheduled practices such as work, chores and family life. As the number of new experiences decreases so we tend to find a rhythm to our lives. Our mind records less of the non-interesting markers, meaning the period of time doing something routine seems to be shorter. Therefore time seemingly goes faster, even though the clock still ticks at the same speed.
From cradle to the grave as they say, we can learn something new every day and this too can help us slow time down. We should always go out of our way to harness the magic of more first moments. Read more books, ask questions, start a hobby, play a new instrument, cook a new recipe, meet new people. Life is short but throwing yourself into new surroundings and new experiences can make it feel so much longer. Don’t ever lose your sense of wonder to experience new things.
Remembering everything is impossible, our memory does not work like an infinite video camera and I’m pretty sure lugging an emotional backpack of memories around with us daily would be an issue, especially me with my zillions of photographs! Our memory is selective, and I use to be afraid of losing mine, I still am a little.
I thought maybe there was only so many GB of space on my brains SD card that would limit how many times I could remember something. That once the drive was full, no more memories could be added. I wondered if that memory I just made would be the last one I remembered. All that did was make me want to create more and hold onto them tighter.
THE COST OF MEMORIES
Travel for me is the biggy. Travelling the world (or only Australia at this point!) is the one that gets me excited! Memories just waiting to be made. Adventure, exploring new places, and experiencing new cultures is something I thrive on!
Granted, when making memories travelling the globe, you have to spend some cash, but memories themselves don’t work that way. You don’t remember how much the trip cost you, how much lunch was that day you sat overlooking the Amalfi Coast, how much that day trip cost to the Great Barrier Reef. But you remember the flight over and your accommodation, you remember the delicious food you ate at that café, you remember the underwater sights, snorkelling with the coral and stingrays.
The memories come as a result of the experience. The things you saw, the things you did, and the time spent with the people you shared those memories with. These memories will be with you forever, no matter how much money you spend to make them happen. The memories made from fresh and exciting experiences are so dense and vivid that they create the perception that time is slowing down, something else money can’t buy.
Being an avid traveller, I just adore tapping out on routine and heading somewhere new. I get the whole bucket list thing but mines a little different.
Yes, I keep note of the things I’d like to do, and places I’d like to go and see but I’m all about the ‘have done’ list. Since way back I have collected little notes on things I’ve done which I’m proud of, things that mean nothing to anyone else, just me. Things I feel are accomplishments, be that big or small, things I can say ‘yeh man, I did that!’ All precious memories to me which I remember so vividly, it feels like I did them yesterday.
MEMINI, ERGO SUM
Someone very close to me once said “We are the sum total of the decisions we make” and deciding to live your best life whilst making memories along the way will 100% have an impact on the person you are today, We have to make sure we make new memories, always. We can learn from them, we can reflect on them, and we can slow time down.
You need to appreciate every moment in life, big or small and you need to surround yourself with new experiences and new firsts to make your time go slower. You will have amazing memories of your life to look back on, to make you feel alive.
Try new things. Do new things. Learn new things. Meet new people. Visit new places. As Dr. Seuss once said, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory”, so go out and make more of them, and slow your life down.
Written by Editor, Rhian Cable
Mum, Wife, Marketing Specialist, Book Worm, Sunrise Junkie and Blogger – Living life every minute.