Monday, April 30, 2007


By C.L. Beck

While making a sandwich one day, a blazingly great idea for a blog popped into my mind. There I stood, elbow deep in mayonnaise. It wasn’t a convenient time to pick up a pencil and write things down. “This idea is so good, it’ll be easy to remember,” I thought.

I continued fixing lunch. Sourdough bread was stacked with ham and cheese. Ranch-flavored Doritos were piled on the plate and I poured an ice-cold lemonade. Walking into the TV room with my goodies, I nibbled on things. Ooo, the pickle was spicy and crisp. The Doritos crunched the way fresh tortilla chips should. The lemonade had just the right mix of tangy and sweet.

By the time I got to the couch and put my lunch down, I’d forgotten the idea. It had zipped out of my mind. Sadly, it was an idea that was destined to never be recalled. Now, a year later, I still have no clue.

I should have used my favorite memory trick, but didn’t. Maybe because I’d forgotten that I forget things. Right now I wish I had written a key word in mustard, on the wall.

Do memory aids work? Yes. You just have to believe that you need them enough to use them. And you have to be willing to practice the technique so that when you need it, you remember what to do. My favorite one is the number/rhyme mnemonic, (which pegs mental images to rhyming numbers) but there are other methods, as well. If you go to and click on the tab called “memory improvement” you’ll find a number of clever suggestions.

When I mentioned this to my blogging friends, some of them said they were beyond help. They figured they couldn’t remember the trick to begin with, so it wouldn’t do them any good. For those who feel that way, console yourself with this quote by Elder Richard C. Edgley, first counselor in the presiding bishopric. “You know, there’s a reason why we lose our memories when we get older … so we can die with a clear conscience.”


Tristi Pinkston said...

Will you make me a sandwich? Yours sounded really good . . .

I agree with needing to jot down notes. I got a small tape recorder while working on my second novel because I'd be right in the middle of something (usually making dinner or changing a diaper) and the best ideas would hit. I dictated them into the tape recorder while my hands were busy, and then got them off the tape later.

Anonymous said...

My problem is I remember just enough to know I should feel guilty but I don't remember what it was.
Keith Fisher

Cindy Beck, author said...

I'd be glad to make you a sandwich any day ... if I could only remember where I put the bread!:-)

Thanks for commenting. Your tape recorder idea is a good one. I MUST get one.

Cindy Beck, author said...

Thanks for commenting.

Since you can't remember what you feel guilty about, maybe you could have a 'guilt day' once a week and feel bad for everything at once. And the rest of the week you'd be off the hook.:-)