Nostalgia is Like a Salad

Greek salad by Cheryl

We fondly look to the past, recalling care-free days filled with fun, laughter, friends and family. Our first kiss; most memorable car; best friend; beloved pet(s); dreams of travel and adventure, and on-and-on the list goes. We look at the gilded past through diffused lenses. Unless our coming-of-age-days were horrible (and for some they were) we weed-out the unpleasant things and recall the good things. We all had some bad stuff.

Life is a toss-up of sorts: a mix of greens, veggies, toppings we can and can’t always discern, cheeses, maybe select meats, and usually coated with a dressing of choice. Sometimes we separate the items we don’t like and eat the ones we do. Or, we eat all of it and recall the unique sensual flavor of every bite. Nostalgia is like a salad.

Nostalgia can become a futile exercise. What I mean is that if we view the past through rose colored glasses and consistently recall the days of yore to be nothing but blissful moments of joy, we short-change ourselves in the present. I have very fond memories of my formative years, raising our children, and my continuing love affair with my wife. I am deeply grateful I have them. Although the years were/are ripe with many difficulties, challenges, struggles and sorrows, my fondness for these days rests upon the happy and joyful moments.

Interesting to me that the span of tough times seem to have been pretty much an underlying constant while the positive recollections only snapshots, but that is how my mind works. The moments of quality overcome the quantity of monotony and struggle. I suppose this is a psychological survival dynamic given to us by a benevolent and loving God.

Recently, my thoughts have focused on my failures and mistakes. No optimistic clichés, please. I have read and stated most of them. I understand the power of positive thinking. My mind simply chooses to wander into dangerous territory. I remind myself that life’s circumstances have shaped me into the man I am today. The past doesn’t define me, but it has affected me. So, I choose to push aside the distasteful parts of my salad and eat with gusto the yummy ones. And, I look forward to the next appetizer. Consider this a note to self.

A Time for Reflection

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A month into the new year which means we have eleven more months to go before we close out 2019 (simple math I can handle). Have you had or taken the time to reflect on just how fleeting time is? Age changes perspective, to be sure. Young usually means time is suspended while old views it running away from us. But, that’s not what I am getting at…not really, although this age thing may play into my point.

Reflection of ones’ self can be a tricky thing as we usually see our lives from a somewhat warped self-image. After all, we are looking in the mirror and may not see an accurate reflection of who and what we really are. Start with the present and with the understanding that the past certainly influences who you have become. But, don’t let that stop you from seeing who you are right now. An accurate gauge of yourself is invaluable in who and what you will become, what you will do and where you will go.

I have done a great deal of reflecting over the course of the past few months and have come to some conclusions which may be of some value to you. 1. Time stands still for no one so let’s make the best of what each day offers. 2. The past with all the pain, disappointments, betrayals, fractured relationships, illnesses, deaths, etc. must be be put to bed now or they will haunt you indefinitely. 3. Forgiveness is a much greater virtue to you than the forgiven cause they usually don’t even know your pain. 4. Uncomplicate your life. Get rid of all the debris-physical stuff and emotional baggage carried with us. 5. Have faith you can and will make better decisions from today going forward because you will be better equipped to make them. 6. Have faith in a Higher Being  (mine is Christ) who gives you the strength and courage to press on to a better tomorrow. 7. Enjoy today.

Nothing new here and I could have added a dozen more items to consider, but this is what I have been shown so I wanted to share it with you. Have a quality and joy-filled year and life !

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Quote & Pic of the Day, No. 9 of 24

Stairway to Heaven (song by Led Zeppelin,1971) or Kukulkan Pyramid at Chitchen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico? Pyramid, of course, but the Mayans may have thought it was a spiritual stairway to heaven. Kukulkan was designated one of the Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. This pyramid and entire temple complex is an amazing city-state of the ancient Mayan culture. There are other similar complexes throughout Mexico and Central America where ancient cultures once thrived, although Chitchen Itza is one of the larger de-forested complexes from these ancient civilizations (Mayan & Aztec).

Mayan Stairway to Heaven                                                                                                                                           ” Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future for it is yet to come. Live in the present and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering. ”   Author Unknown, but similar expressions of the same concept can be found from multiple sources, including the Bible.

Quote & Pic of the Day, No. 7 of 24

 

In a world that is ever-changing, and as America has become globalized, let us not forget our past…the ideals and acts that bonded our nation together and galvanized us during the greatest threats to our sovereignty as a country. This thought is not for America alone, but for all nations who value freedom and seek peace and prosperity for her people. It is good and necessary to become more integrated with other nations, but let us not lose our identity in the process.

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People without heritage are easily persuaded.”    Karl Marx