I came across this observation this morning: "If I don't take notes, it would be like a long dream. When I wake up, I know I had a long dream and I might remember the emotions, but after a few minutes the details are gone" (here). It's fundamentally correct and holds for almost everyone. I almost said: "I couldn't have said it better myself," but that would be false. It's more like: "I couldn't have said it as well" even though I have my doubts about whether web could be thoughtful (which is not the fault of the contributor to this site, of course).
I sometimes feel as if I have dreamed my life away. My consolation: many of the papers I attended during the last thirty years of my life probably were only good for dreaming, but I will never know.