Before the advent of the PDA age, I had literally hundreds of telephone numbers swirling around in my head. In a heartbeat I could instantly recall all of my family and friends’ telephone numbers, the numbers associated with my employment, banking, and the businesses that I often frequented.
Memorizing telephone numbers took minimal effort and I had every confidence that if I were ever in a ditch and needed help I could call a whole host of family and friends, from memory, to come to my rescue.
Fast forward to 2015 and I am lucky if I can remember my own telephone number. I often wonder what would happen if I misplaced my phone or the battery went dead while I was out and about and needed to call someone whose phone number escaped me; after all I have less than 10 phone numbers committed to memory. On a good day, there are snippets of numbers taking up space in my head that I believe belong to someone significant, as they are vaguely familiar, but without trial dialing I can’t be sure. Can I blame my inability to remember phone numbers on the aging process or maybe I can attribute it to some undiagnosed malady? Maybe it’s just laziness or inertia on my part as I’ve come to rely on my PDA as the keeper of the numbers.
Whatever the reason, I’ve decided to challenge myself to stop and take a deep breath in order to retrain my brain. The first part of the challenge is to identify 10 of the most frequently used telephone numbers in my PDA, that have not been committed to memory, and memorize them. Once that is accomplished the next part of the challenge will be to rely only upon my memory and resist the temptation to take a sneak peek or sideward glance at my phone, when I have to call any of the numbers I newly memorized. It will be interesting to see if I have the discipline to see this challenge through and more importantly if I have the brain cells to go along with it. I can’t wait to put my memory to the test.