It’s never a good idea to live in the past, but it’s a great place to visit. Here are some of my favorite things to encounter while strolling down Memory Lane.
Snapshots of happy people. I never take pictures of myself doing taxes or the laundry, so my photo album provides me with a wonderfully distorted view of my life. In an album, my life is only parties, picnics, reunions, and milestones.
Worries about problems long since resolved. Reading past journal entries helps put the present in perspective. My worries about finding love, passing chemistry, and choosing a career now give me great happiness with the knowledge that I FOUND love, PASSED chemistry (barely), and HAVE a career. One day my current worries will also be in the past. Not everything will go as I expect or hope, but I’ll adapt, and everything will be okay.
Identity. Who we were doesn’t determine who we are or will be, but it’s still a part of us. Remembering the lessons I’ve learned (usually the hard way) gives me a sense of who I am and why I have the values, priorities, and goals I have.
Renewed gratitude, love, and respect. What would I do without my wife? I take her for granted too often, so reading emails from when we were dating, looking at pictures of our wedding, and admiring the home we’ve built together restores the appreciation I should always have.
Money. Remember last winter when I put $20 in my coat pocket? Me neither, but I must have done it because there it is now! I wonder if past me intentionally left this as a future windfall.
So, for this week’s ten minute fix, take your own stroll down Memory Lane. Dust off the photo albums, journals, home movies, keepsakes, or winter coats and take a trip to the best parts of your past.