Update on Seizing Nostalgia

Coincidentally, I was at the Farragut Chamber of Commerce Christmas Party. It was coincidental because I ran into an acquaintance who spoke some truth and light into my previous post about the Good Old Days. For the record, his name is John Haney.

John was talking about his daughters. He told me that one day I would be just like him talking to someone younger than me with a kid and telling them how fast they grow up. He said that before you know it, you start sounding like that “old guy”.

What was so profound was when he said that “That’s why people love Christmas so much.” John said that it reminds people of their past. As I thought about that, the truth sank deeper and deeper. Christmas (and other holidays/traditions) hold so many memories and layers.

You remember Christmas as a kid with your family. Then you become a single adult and the holiday takes a different form. Then you get married, have a kid(s), family grows, etc. It constantly evolves. And each year you reflect on your past and traditions. Christmas holds a special place in your heart.

It’s one of the few times during our lives when we get to experience the “golden days” as opposed to reflecting back on the “golden days”. This sparked a thought that I wanted to capitalize on. Traditions help us value “golden days” while still in the present.

However, if they are held too frequently such as Sunday dinners, they will be taken for granted. If they are too infrequent such as an annual holiday, they will not be valued respectively.

So what is the magic number of days to hold these traditions? I don’t know.

What should these traditions look like and how can we draw out the nostalgia? I don’t know.

But what I do know is that we are getting closer, and closer to the answer. Life doesn’t have to be a sad reflection. It can/should be filled with adventures and a present mind that appreciates what is happening without having to look back in appreciation.

 

you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s over.

I heard it said once that you should attend at least one funeral and one wedding each year to keep life in perspective. I’ve had more than my fair share of weddings since then but it wasn’t until this evening that I went to a funeral for the first time in over a decade.

There was connection with someone special from my childhood that drew me to a seat in the pew. With tears welling in my eyes, I was thrust back into memories that most days are so far away that they seem as only a dream.

Today is a sad day. I’m reminded of the brevity of life and good old days that you can’t get back or recreate. I reflect on two things. One is a sobering quote from the TV show, The Office. It was said,

I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you left them……Someone should write a song about that.

Well they did and here it is. “Good Old Days” by Macklemore (ft. Kesha)

Today is a day to reflect and be reminded. Tomorrow I will take these thoughts and commit once more to a life with no reserves, no retreats, and no regrets. I’ve loved my life and lived it well, but the older I get, the more ‘good old days’ I have behind me.

I think being content in the moment is one level, but harnessing the nostalgia while it is still the present is the next level. I think we’ve all found ourselves in those out-of-body experiences at some point in life. I want more of them.

Life is what you make it to be, and I choose to live extraordinarily. YOLO