This month I’ve talked a lot about the people who came before me… about my children… and what they mean to me, what lessons their lives teach.
So now here I am… and if all goes according to the longevity record of my grandparents, it looks like I’ve lived about 2/3 of my life… which, actually… sounds a little depressing.
What I’d rather focus on is the last third of my life.
…Which also sounds a little depressing.
OK, so here’s what I’m trying to get at.
I notice a lot of older people focus on their past… the “good old days”, “the best of times” or the “worst of times”… and the present seems almost irrelevant.
I’ve noticed myself doing the same thing this past year… probably because it’s been a hard year. The past has taken on this “magical” glow of perfection.
For example… a favorite memory is loading my boys and all our bikes into the back of the pick-up truck… driving into the small town we lived near and riding bikes on the paved school grounds.
It was simple and fun and truly, a great memory.
But when I look at it a little closer, it was one of the worst times in our lives.
We lived in a trailer… I won’t even give it the courtesy of calling it a mobile home… it was a cramped, icky old trailer into which two adults and four children were stuffed.
The husband and I had lost our shirts and a business, we owed everyone in the world money, it wasn’t a particularly wonderful time in our relationship and I felt like the worst parent in the world because I couldn’t give my kids what I thought they should have.
I mean… when your two youngest children are so excited to get new shoes that they don’t want to get them dirty… and actually sleep with them for two nights … that’s kind of sad. I actually have a picture of them grinning ear to ear, shoes held up to their faces and then tucked tight into bed!
So that shows me my memory has been quite selective of late. And that’s not completely bad… no one should dwell on bad. You’ve got to move on.
It also shows me that no matter what is happening in life, there is good stuff all around. Sometimes you just have to look or try a little harder to grab it.
So I can enjoy the memory of four sons, a picnic lunch and a couple hours on the Yamhill River… but I can’t live there in my mind.
I don’t want to miss out living today… in the present moment.
I want to be excited about future plans. And then someday, I can look back at today and see time well spent, and great memories created.
Linked today with The Nester and the 31 Dayers.
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