Forgetting stuff is okay according to Hilde and Ylva Ostby in their book Adventures in memory - the Science and Secrets of Remembering and Forgetting.
We are continually exposed to information, experiences and their associated feelings and sensations. It's impossible to take everything in and also remember it. Our working memory lasts seconds only and is an effective barrier, stopping lots of trivia from making it to storage memory. What gets through and remains must have powerful associations that confer importance. We meet someone. We might forget their name but not that smell or appearance or how we felt. Also powerful are repeated similar experiences.
Emotion is the glue that lets the trivia go.
Information retrieval works alongside imagination. Most of us don't remember every detail of events. Set off by feelings evoked by for example music, we enter the world we thought we lived in when we first heard it. "Every time you remember something it's a new version of that play." Story-telling, the thing that make us human.
So memory is an important contributor to how we interpret feelings and sensations. We must be careful not to interpret any current feelings purely in the light of unpleasant past memories. Take ownership of the present and put the baggage in the cupboard. These are sometimes referred to as red button issues; memories which are no longer relevant but keep coming up.
So don't worry if you've forgotten where you left your keys; it isn't necessarily a sign of dementia.
The childbride and I are very fond of lists as a method of supporting our memories. Now where did I put that list?
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