Sarah Gershman on Emotion as a Currency for Remembering Content

According to numerous studies, emotion is a basic currency for remembering content. A listener must connect emotionally to what they hear in order to remember what the speaker says. Simply, we remember most vividly the events in our lives in which we were most emotionally impacted.”

— Sarah Gershman, Do You Need Charisma to Be a Great Public Speaker? (via swissmiss)

041 // A Memory for the Week

With the warm sun coming through the west window above us we laid on the couch together sharing your headphones, the right earbud for me and the left one for you.

We closed our eyes and shared a playlist of your favorite love songs. I nearly cried when the ones from our first years played and nearly fell asleep as you played with my hair. The entire world melted away. There was just us, our home, our love, our memories, and nothing else.

I’m not sure how long we laid there, not speaking, just laying and listening, but it sure didn’t feel like long enough. I wanted to stay there forever. I wanted nothing else for the rest of my life but…the dishes had to be washed, dinner had to be made, laundry had to be folded.

The week is about to begin and as much as I loathed to leave that couch with you, at least I will have the memory of the sun, and you, and those songs to get me through.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

037 // I Needed a Good Cry

It was a weird weather day here in Denver, Colorado. We woke to frigid temperatures and a second day in a row of thick fog. The wind picked up just as the morning rush hour began and the freezing fog quickly frosted every tree branch and grass blade. Luckily, the roads stayed dry, but only just until lunchtime when the full brunt of the snowstorm hit us.

I spent most of my day indoors trying to stay warm. I was still upset about yesterday’s trauma when I woke up and by the time I got to work I was in tears.

I think needed a good cry in order to move on. I’m a sensitive person and the only way I can get through anything is to allow my emotions to flow freely and at full force for a time. After the tears stopped I felt better, and even more so later in the day when I heard the city may take tangible steps to prevent this horrible accident from ever repeating.

In the afternoon the snow picked up and murmurs of a possible snow day rippled through my workplace. I don’t think we’ll get one but I’m so thrilled by the idea that I can’t give up hope. An unscheduled day off, one with no expectations, a day unplugged and off the calendar feels like a true blessing.

Unexpected, undeserved and always appreciated.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

036 // Caught in a Split Second

This morning I witnessed the aftermath of a rather horrific car accident. A child pedestrian was struck by a car while crossing near a busy intersection just moments before we arrived. The scene was pretty upsetting to see.

At first, I didn’t even know what I was seeing. I saw cars stopped and a street light down. I thought I was looking at a terrible but typical car accident. Then I noticed there were a lot of people walking around. Then I saw six or seven people crouched near the sidewalk. Then I saw the small bundle of scrawny limbs awkwardly piled in the gutter. I noticed the backpack and the flower shirt. I noticed a child who wasn’t moving. I wanted to help her. I was getting up to help her…and then the fire truck was there, and we were moving, and it was over.

I returned to work. I did my job. I moved on with my day. I was shaken, but I thought I was fine. I tried to put away the memory of that girl scrunched up in the gutter, but as time passed, I became more and more disturbed by what I had seen. It’s still with me even now, as if I am still caught in that split second between realizing what I was seeing, and deciding what to do.

First responders arrived before I had to make a choice, but I wonder what might have happened if we had arrived just a minute or two sooner. If I had seen the child hit and what I would have found when I ran from my bus with my limited training in first aid and CPR.

I wonder if she is okay? I wonder, are her parents by her side right now? I wonder how her life will be shaped by this moment and how long the memory of her will affect me.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren