I don’t remember if I returned to jigsaw puzzles in order to improve my memory. I remember noticing improvement after I returned.
And when I give them away for a while, I notice a decline.
I haven’t yet tested whether the novelty of the jigsaw is critical to the process. Can I re-do a puzzle from the past and still reap the benefits? I nearly had to try last week but the stay-at-home orders lifted, along with my comfort level for going to the shops.
I play other memory games as well …
Most nights, I read my way to forgetting the business of the day. When turning another page becomes too much of a bother, I take a mental note of the page number. Last time, alas not last night, it was page 83.
I guess you have to believe me because there’s no bookmark as evidence.
No shopping list
I push the trolley past the top of each aisle, pause, cast a glance along the signs and make my way down if a memory is triggered. Granted, the process is helped by the lack of variety in my weekly purchases.
Sometimes, there’s that odd thing. Last week, it was batteries for my torch.
And now I find myself in a pickle.
On returning to this draft a few weeks after I began jotting down my thoughts, I see I ended with a heading, “Sight unseen”.
Alas, I’m don’t remember what sight I thought, then, I was not seeing. Or what an unseen sight has to do with memory …
… ah, now I remember.
The reason I remember page number 83 is not because I have a memory for numbers. Instead, it is because I have a memory for pictures. On deciding I can read no further that night, I look at the page number and remember the image. It is the visual scan of the supermarket aisle, allowing images to trigger and connect. It is the colour, line and pattern of the puzzle pieces as they signal their place in the picture.
I’ve thought up a new game, made possible by the wonderful calendar and alarm functions in my very clever phone.
Select an interesting thing, an object of some sort, a small object, and place it somewhere unexpected. Then set a calendar alarm, perhaps in a week or fortnight, to remind it’s time to search, time to retrieve that object without any hint as to where it might be.
Tip: Don’t select anything particularly important, and make sure the location is not too obvious.