Weekly Thought – January 22, 2019
Fred considered his memory as part of his gifting. Even at the very end of his life he had extraordinary capacity. His ability to not only pull back, but put into context enabled him to speak, write, and teach broadly.
During 2019 BWF is expanding its content through additional written materials. Prayer support as undertake the updating of You and Your Network, and produce a book on transition and change inspired by the What’s Next Roundtable.
The Memory Game
Friends of mine who are being dragged into their 50s complain of “losing their mind” when it is only their recall that is slowing down. (Note: Fred lived to 92 with memory intact). They still have strong reasoning power and good decision making skills.
They are experiencing a weakening of their recall system. As I grew older I felt the same frustration and anxiety.
When I thought it through I realized I have a mind, a memory, and a recall system. The mind does the thinking, the memory does the warehousing of data, and the recall is the retrieval method.
Now that my short-term memory is very capricious, I developed a game which defeats frustration. In fact, I have learned to greatly enjoy it!
The warehouse of my memory still contains all of my experiences. When I cannot bring a name or a word to mind I don’t lay the blame on my memory. Memory hasn’t failed – the warehouse is still in fine shape. And, if the recall element were in top working order, everything would be clear.
Here is how my warehouse works: I decided the building is divided into shelving units with workers whose responsibility was to retrieve and race to the front desk where the request lay. When they were young, they challenged each other to see who could answer my call with the speediest response. No matter what item I required, the answer was found and returned. Sometimes the warehousemen actually ran into each other bringing thoughts, names, and places to mind. Sometimes the warehouse whirred around with unlimited activity.
As I aged the process slowed down. At first I couldn’t understand it and was frustrated. “What was happening?”
Then the lightbulb went on: the warehouse workers were aging as I did. Some have arthritis, have failing eyes, and even misconstrue my request. Some workers have retired so several units are unattended. The pep in their step drags a bit.
The other day I waited and waited for the worker to return. When he arrived he reported he forgot what I ordered. I laughed and said, “So did I!”
When I realized I have not lost my mind I understood the process… and cut the workers some slack. And I wrote out bonus checks for those warehousemen who faithfully serve me for all these years! And prepared myself to hear from them about 3 am for that is their time of choice to deliver the information!
This week think about: 1) How can I change my view of memory loss? 2) What can I do to keep my warehousemen in good shape? 3) Who needs to be encouraged by Fred’s game?
Words of Wisdom: “The mind does the thinking, the memory does the warehousing of data, and the recall is the retrieval method.”
Wisdom from the Word: “I will remember the works of the Lord. Yes, I will remember the amazing things you did long ago!” (Psalm 77:11 NET Bible)