Memory Month, Here We Go Again

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Hello my dears!

I hope you are having a wonderful start of the weekend!

Today is the last day of January, which means that tomorrow we get thrown into February. I can’t believe that the first month of the new year is already over.

Anyway, the point of this post isn’t for me to ponder at how fast time goes by, but to let you know that February means Memory Month for me. As such, I’ll be posting one post each day, letting you know about my quest for memory improvement.

If you don’t know what Memory Month is, that’s ok, because it’s something that I pretty much made up. It’s essentially a challenge for me to make my memory better, by trying different methods. Last year, which was also the first time Memory Month came about, I tried a variety of mnemonics to improve my memory, and it worked! I improved my scores at remembering letters and words. For numbers, not so much, but then again…I am ok with that.

Just a few minutes before starting to write this, I retook all of the tests, and I got some interesting results: my memory for numbers went down (not surprisingly, since I don’t deal a lot with numbers), but so did my memory for letter, although it was better than the very first time I took the test. Now, my memory for words, on the other hand, actually improved by one since the last time I took the test.

Here are captions with my results:

Numbers

Letters

Words

This month, however, things are going to be different from last, although you will see some overlap.

Here’s how this is going to go:

First week: Mind Maps

Second Week: Coming up with stories

Third week: Relating to one’s self

Fourth week: Memory Palace

I’ve already used one of this techniques when I was taking one of the tests above, namely the one with words (I constructed a rather nonsensical plot about a murder, which helped me remember words like bones and skull and agent).

Also, as you can see, the Memory Palace is once again used as the last method, just like it was last year. That’s just because it’s so complex that I think it deserves special treatment 😀 .

Finally, this year is going to be a little different, in that there is going to be something that I will be trying to practice throughout the entire month. In essence, I’ll try to eat healthier, exercise and relax more, as those factors have been repeatedly shown to help memory. We’ll see how it goes 🙂

Wish me luck!

/Larisa

The first time I took the tests: MEMORY MONTH DAY 1: TIME OF TRUTH

The results of the same tests after Memory Month was over: THE RESULTS ARE IN: HAS MEMORY MONTH IMPROVED MY MEMORY?

Want to take the same tests I took? Go to Braingle

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The Things You Should Never Tell Yourself

Via 9gag
Via 9gag

I like going on 9gag from time to time, because it’s a lot of fun. Well, what I mean to say is that it can be a lot of fun. It can also be very sad, and sometimes, even frustrating. Lots of people were complaining about the fact that many 9gag users started to post things that weren’t so funny. I personally didn’t have any particular problem with it, because I’m all about people talking about their opinion, and it doesn’t matter if it’s related to something funny or sad.

But then there are the posts that just plain frustrate me. There are many such examples, and maybe I’ll talk about others as I encounter them. The one I posted above is just one of them.

Let’s take each statement one by one, and see what’s wrong with it when said in relation to one’s self:

I hate you

You do realize that you are going to spend the rest of your life with you, right? In essence, you’ve sort of entered a marriage with yourself the moment you were born, and this is not a marriage that you can end by divorce. It’s not a marriage that you should end. So, what do people do when they don’t want a marriage to fall apart? They fix it. There are good things about you, whether you care to acknowledge them or not. They’re there. Be on the lookout, and you’re sure to find them.

You’re weak

Let’s make something clear here, ok? We’re all human beings. No, seriously, we are. That makes us vulnerable, which means that sometimes, yes, we are weak. All of us. Not at the same time, but we all go through phases of weakness, followed by strength. It’s normal.

If you’re feeling weak, don’t blame yourself for it. Rather, look at what made you be that way, and try to fix it. If you can’t do it on your own, then…well, look for help. Even looking for help implies some sort of strength, because it shows that you acknowledge the problem, and you’re ready to do something about it. There is strength in you. You just have to make it come out.

You deserve the pain

So you’ve taken the role of God, eh? You started to decided who deserves the pain, and who doesn’t.

Every single one of us makes mistakes, because, as I said before, we’re humans. If you’ve made a mistake, this doesn’t make you a bad person. It simply means you made a mistake. Try to fix it. If you can’t, then do your best to reduce the negative effects it has. Telling yourself that you deserve the pain won’t solve anything. It will only make you feel horrible, and there’s no point in that.

You’re imperfect

YES!!! Of course you are. We all are. This statement seems pointless to me. It’s like saying “I breathe oxygen”. Yeah, no kidding. So do I! Look at all the stuff we have in common.

But there’s more to this statement, when said in this context: it essentially says that “I breathe oxygen, and therefore I’m a bad person.” Well, then that means that we’re all really bad, because we are all the same in this regard.

It’s ok to be imperfect, really. We all are.

You’ll never be good enough

Not only are you God, but you can also see in the future. That’s quite impressive, it really is! Well, never mind! God is supposed to see in the future, so I guess I should have congratulated you on your impressiveness before this.

Anyway, this statement begs the question “Good enough for what?”. Can you answer it being specific, or do you just think that way in general terms?

It doesn’t really matter if you can be specific or not, because you’re mistaken in thinking this either way. Using words like “never”, and “always” is not a good idea, because they can easily be refuted. So hey! Maybe you weren’t good enough for something at some point, but you can do something to improve it in the future. If you think that you’re not good enough in general, then you are exaggerating. There is something in you, ready to come out and be great and wonderful, but if you keep hiding it, then…

I hope you die

NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

Whatever is going in your life, you should know that it will get better. But did you see the key word in that sentence right there? It’s life. There needs to be life in order for things to get better.

These kinds of thoughts are quite commonly met in depression. Many of us might experience some of them on a daily basis, but it’s in depressed people that they happen with a lot of frequency. If you notice yourself thinking this way a lot, then you should look for help. It’s out there, and it will help you smile once again 🙂

In the meantime, here are some things you should tell yourself:

Sea_Clouds_Background_Texture_by_StitcherLadyxx

/Larisa

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It’s in the Small Moments

Via deviantart

I talk about this a lot, but since we live in the society we do, I think it’s a topic that needs to be discussed more, until it becomes routine for us to think about it, as opposed to going out of our way to get it on our mind.

It’s about appreciation. And I don’t mean appreciation of the big things. That comes naturally, usually (and if it doesn’t, it might be due to some condition, such as depression). It makes sense to be happy when you get a promotion, when you graduate, or when you’re finally able to buy the car you’ve always wanted.

I am not talking about that kind of gratitude, but I am not saying we shouldn’t feel it. We should, of course!

The problem is this: big moments are few and far in between. No necessarily, but speaking from a general point of view, they are. But they’re obviously not the only kinds of moments we experience. We go through small ones, too, and I think those need a bit more loving thrown their way, especially since we experience so many small moments.

If we could learn to be thankful for those little things, we could bring more happiness into out lives, which is great news, isn’t it? Well, it’s all fun and games to talk about it, but once you try to implement it…that’s when the problems start arising.

We’re used to be in our own little worlds a bit too much nowadays, and this means that we no longer notice most of what goes on around us. But we should…Oh, we should.

A few days ago, for instance, I was walking to class, and I was in a hurry. Luckily, this didn’t stop me from seeing that there were flowers growing in a little spot, and that made me very happy (I do like both flowers and spring very much, hence the happiness).

This is just an example, and there are many more like it, that if you learn to look around you, you might just smile for longer, and feel better. It’s hard to do, no doubt, especially with all the available technology that we can use to distract yourselves. But it’s doable!

/Larisa

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The Why-Did-I-Just-Do-that? Moment

Via wikipedia

Have you had any moments in which you do something, and right the next second after you’ve done it, you want to slam your head against the nearest hard object? Then, for the next few moments, there’s something inside you saying “WHY? WHY?”. This doesn’t even have to be something terribly important, but it still doesn’t seem to dial down that frustration form the first few seconds.

They are things that are just so stupid, like, for instance, pressing “!” instead of “?”, and right after pressing the send button, so that your brain doesn’t even have the time to process the mistake. I’ve done it with letters, too. One time, for instance, I told my friend that I love to send nice “texys”, instead of “texts”.

If the mistake is of no serious consequence, the frustration is bound to go away very fast, and all that is left is the humor of the whole thing. But if the mistake leads to more important issues, then…well, that’s a problem.

But you see, our brains go on automatic quite often. This is crucial, because you don’t want to be spending important energy resources on things that are quite easy, especially when you don’t have that kind of energy. This, on most occasions, allows you to increase efficiency, while decreasing costs.

But, sometimes, one cost (ie, energy) is reduced, while other costs are increased (for instance, looking like an idiot in front of your boss). What do you usually do in such situations? If I can, I usually just admit to having made a mistake, and if there is a reason that I know of, I mention it. For instance, I’ll say “I apologize about that, I was in a rush”.

Usually, even the most awkward situations can be corrected 🙂

/Larisa

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What Am I Reading?

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Last week I went to my university’s bookstore, and came out with two books that I am very excited about. The first one, Writing from Deeper Within, by Bernard Selling, and the second one, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris.

I’ve been a fan of David Sedaris for quite a while, but I’ve never actually read any of his books. I was introduced to him and his brilliance in a creative writing class I took last year. While the class itself was mostly uninteresting, as I knew of most of the stuff they were talking about, I was very happy to have learned about David Sedaris, because I love his humor. I started watching videos of him reading passages from his books, and the more I watched, the more I wanted to get his books.

Since  Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls was on display at the bookstore I went to quite a lot, I kept thinking that I had to get it, but I put if off until now. I have already started reading it, and it has not disappointed me one bit! However, this is one of the books that I think I will only read when I will have a bit more free time.

The second book, Writing from Deeper Within, was on sale, and since I had wanted to get a book like this for a long while, I decided that this was the perfect time. So far, I have found it very interesting, as I’ve already learned a bit right from the first few pages.

As I mentioned, I am planning on starting to seriously read the book by David Sedaris (well….to concentrate on reading it would be a more appropriate way of putting it, since you can’t be serious while reading that book). In the meantime, I’ll be concentrating my efforts on reading Writing from Deeper Withinand another book that I’m already half-way finished, which is Resurrection, by Leo Tolstoy. I usually read the latter one right before bed, as it’s a great way to unwind after a day filled with studying and work.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you a heads up on what sort of books I am going to be discussing here shortly. I hope you are as excited about them as I am!

Have a lovely day!

/Larisa

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When Your Laptop Refuses to Cooperate

man-311353_1280
Via Pixabay

This past week has been filled with laptop issues. Well, I guess I should say “issue”, because it was the same one coming back over and over, but because it kept returning, I feel that putting it into plural is more appropriate. Plus, “issues” just sounds more dramatic than “issue”.

What happened was that my hard drive stopped working. Actually, it didn’t just completely stop working. Rather, it selectively worked, meaning that it chose when to work, and when not to. Of course, I am fully aware of the fact that the poor hard drive, having no consciousness whatsoever, could not choose what to do, but when you’re the one in front of the thing, trying to get it to work, you start demonizing it for not making the slightest effort to help out.

Initially, I hoped I was going to be able to use it for a few more weeks, and then take it to repair, but it became apparent to me that the situation was getting worse by the day, and so I finally gave in, and took it to the repair shop.

There, I was met by a very nice old man, who assured me that the problem will be solved by the next day, at which point I could come and pick it up. I went home, feeling happy that everything was going to be over soon, and that I could once again use my laptop.

Sure thing, the next day I took it home, but I soon noticed strange things starting to happen. First, there was a weird sound coming from it, which, despite the fact that it was pretty quiet, could still be heard by my over-attentive ears. Then, as I opened Word to start working, I noticed that it would take a while for the words I was typing to show up on screen. This caused some concern, but I eventually just brushed it off, thinking that maybe it’s like organ transplant in humans- it just takes a while for the rest of the body to get accustomed to the brand new part.

A few days later, my theory crushed and burned, as I spent 2 hours trying to turn on my laptop, and start working. It would either just not turn on, or, when it would, it would refuse to open any programs.

So I took it right back to the same repair shop, where the guys looked at it and said that the hard drive had some issues, and so they gave me a new one at no extra cost, of course. Now, there is still that funny sound, but at least my laptop is working, and I’ll take that, thank you very much. Also, I have an impressive collection of 2 hard drives that don’t work. Pretty cool, huh?

/Larisa

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The Nose of a Baby Dog

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Here is the first photo that I found, and which made me smile throughout the entire evening. This is a picture of Lupu, one of my dogs, when he was about one month old.

There was nothing particularly special about the moment in which I took the picture. If I remember correctly, I had gone out to take a picture of the book that I was reading, so that I could post it on this blog. Of course, Lupu had to follow me and inspect what I was doing. Luckily, I had finished taking the picture of the book, and so I sat down and allowed him to see my camera. And by “see” I mean stick his nose on it, as this picture shows.

After this, he started running around the yard, which he did for most of the day, and I took pictures of him. From time to time, I’d call him to me, and he would come running straight into my arms. Then, he proceeded to bite my hands, because that was his favorite way of playing.

Now Lupu is much bigger than he was at that time, and quite honestly, it’s a bit hard for me to believe that he could have ever been this tiny. But then again, here is the proof!

/Larisa