Memories and "Good Old Days" - We Go Forward, Because We Can't Go Back!

in memories •  10 months ago

Lately, it feels like I have been "waxing nostalgic" and thinking about the past more than I usually do.

It probably has to do with the holidays and the New Year: I think most of us have particularly strong memories surrounding holiday seasons; we tend to be more "involved" in life, whether it's voluntary or forced.

What Are We Looking FOR, When We Look Back?

Leaves
Maples in the sun

I was trying to make a list of hopes and goals for 2018 when I sank into my latest nostalgic episode, so I paused to consider what I was really reaching for.

Truth be known, there actually isn't that much "great stuff," back there... mostly a lot of stress and lean years.

Then I got thinking about a more distant past, and the word "carefree" came to mind. What I was really reaching for was "simplicity" and the recollection of what that felt like. And what it felt like to have less stuff on my plate. What choices did I make?

In actual fact, I didn't. Life was never really simple-- at least not while I was an adult-- so what I was waxing nostalgic for only existed through the rose-colored "beer goggles" of time. What I was remembering were moments of peace and calm, not a peaceful and calm life.

Why We Can't GO Back...

Window
Desert retreat window

I remember when my mother died-- almost 10 years ago-- I went back to her place to clean things out; back to her condo in southern Spain where I had lived my teenage years.

During the spaces in between sorting clothes for donations and shredding paperwork, I also went for a drive to some of the old places where I used to hang out, many years earlier.

The view from the beach head where I sat and read as a 16-year old; the mountain trail I would hike with our dog; a couple of others. The open market by the church in our local town-- still going. 

The places were still there. A couple of them essentially unchanged.

And yet? They were not the same; they felt "wrong."

Cliff
Island cliff...

That's when I realized that when we try to "go back" to some place; to some time in our past, the reason we can't is that WE are what's "wrong." WE are not who we were 10, 20, 30 years earlier. And what we seek "back there" are not places or people or times... it's how we felt, in a moment. I moment remembered, but long gone, and impossible to recreate.

From time to time, Mrs. Denmarkguy and I return to Denmark and spend a few weeks in the summerhouse where I have gone almost every year since I was a toddler.

The same grass, the same trees, the same view, the same floor, the same smell, the same birds. It's just ME, who's not the same.

And that's why we can't ever "go back," no matter how badly we want to.

We Plan... to Go Forward

2018 is going to be an awesome year! Have a really good feeling about this year!

Iceplant
Blooming iceplant...

In some ways, the part of my desires that reach out to the past might be able to inform my choices, but the past cannot be recreated, so we create a NEW future; through setting NEW goals.

I might create a simpler "now" by taking some things off my current plate and celebrating that less work leads to less anxiety. But it will not be the simplicity of the past; it will be a new simplicity created out of current feelings and circumstances.

My primary ambitions for 2018: I will write more, and I will spend more time with art and creative things. Thanks to the magic of Steemit, I can justify more writing time as it is no longer purely a "labor of love."

I'd like to think I can reach 1,000 original posts/articles here on Steemit, by the end of 2018-- I'm closing in on 500, as I write this. And if all goes well, I'm hopeful of powering back up to 10,000SP by the end of the year; I made it to 8,000 once already, but had to power down to meet unexpected expenses... grrr...

How about YOU? Do you "reference the past" when setting goals? Or do you start afresh? Do you tend to get nostalgic and look at the past fondly? Have you ever tried "time traveling," only to discover there really is no going back? Have you any goals and plans for 2018, Steemit or otherwise? Leave a comment-- share your experiences-- be part of the conversation!

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created by @zord189

(As usual, all text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is original content, created expressly for Steemit)
Created at 180108 16:46 PDT

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I wish you good luck on achieving all of you ambitions and dreams for 2018. My ambition, here on Steemit, is to be able to post at least 5 times a week on my blogs. I have always been a really lazy person and have been binge watching Youtube and sleeping all day for so many years. I really think Steemit will help me change this bad habit for the better!

Very recently, I've just discovered how passionate I was about cryptocurrencies and how much I loved wrtiting and talking about it. I stopped doing my old life-related posts and now post Crypto news (hopefully) every single day. Steemit is truly an amazing platform and has given me such an opportunity to change for the better! :D

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Haha.. Seems like we share alot of similarities

i am actually lazy, when less busy especially times like now, i am not working

When ever i think about the 10 years i spent on facebook doing nothing, i weep internally

Just like you i have developed a vehement love for writing , i am gradually getting my pace on crypto

In all, i will say i am glad to be a steemian

Heres a link to my very first ever write up here, which happens to be yesterday,
I hope you find it interesting, i would appreciate your feedback.. Thanks

https://steemit.com/life/@charles92/how-i-escaped-a-terrorist-bomb-attack-part-one-anne-mother-of-two-gives-account-eea6a1ad57032

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In my head I call myself lazy but I'm really not. I think I slap that label on myself when I see people doing or being what I aspire to do or be. A ridiculous but true example: When I watch the Olympics and see athletes, some even as old as me, in top shape competing at the highest level, that's when I feel the laziest (and fattest). It makes absolutely NO SENSE because I've never been even remotely coordinated to play sports but there you have it.

Glad you've shed that nasty FB habit. I wish more people would wake up.

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I used to label myself a "creative slacker" and would tell pretty much anyone who'd listen that I'm a lazy person.

I spent several years beach combing for a living. That's NOT a joke...

I used to be a serial blogger on old social blogging platforms, and Steemit has put me back in touch with that habit... and that's really cool. And 500 original posts in about 300 days here is not exactly the personification of "laziness." Which brings me to the point that you are probably ALSO not "lazy;" you've just been waiting to discover whatever it is you're passionate about.

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Why is it that the busiest people I know consider themselves "lazy"? Things that make you go Hmm.

I'm not very nostalgic, to say the least.(that's an understatement if ever there was one.)

Truth be told I hate going back (either mentally of physically). Being a traveler for so many years, I have returned to places, and to people a few times...

....and it's always leaves me with a feeling of 'disappointing'.

So now I don't. Simple.
Leave good memories to look back at, and to relive, even - exactly where they deserve to be - in your memory.

Trying to 'relive' a time gone by, seems to, somehow, always 'sour' the original experience. The memory.

I see life as a one way train journey with no getting off, and no passing the same station twice....
(It's up to each person to decide what class of carriage they choose to sit in).

Accepting that as a reality can save of lot of disappointments, avoid a lot of wasted time, and it opens your life to a lot of new experiences, instead...

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I've moved well beyond wanting to "go back" to the past, although I do write about it... mostly to warn others that it can be a trap.

The past, however, is useful in the sense that it invites me to take a more objective look at the present whenever I feel like there is something missing... and I am casting glances backwards to try to understand what it is.

Because the actual past is invariably disappointing, as you say.

to write more in 2018 sounds like a great plan! I'm with you on that one. I stopped making resolutions a long time ago partly because they were too big.
As for going back... It's kind of funny how I think about my parents and in my mind they are "10 feet tall" - or when I visit my old neighborhood or school I feel like a giant. Most of the time when I try to go back I feel a sense of disappointment because the moment that made it memorable is gone. There is only a clone. I guess that's the best way I can describe it.

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YOU are the change, I believe. You have changed since the time you were back at some place in your past; who you are today is not the same person who stood there and got the original memory. So it ends up feeling a little "plastic" and empty.

I still have the unusual position of being able to visit places from my childhood... the appear the same, but I am no longer that child.

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You're right about being the change. I'm not even the same person today as I was last year. And with all the "fun" of being perimenopausal, my husband might tell you I'm a different person moment to moment! ha!

You might find this funny. I've been up to New York to visit family and often see some of my high school teachers and I still cannot bring myself to call them by their first name. It's ridiculous because we're all old now; peers, really. I wonder why I'm so weird sometimes. :P

Two things.
You can NOT go home...cause when you leave it . IT goes away..that sucker is just GONE...you can't never find it again. (I speak from experience)

My grandma told me once..."The good old days...WEREN'T. They were HARD...and a whole lot of people suffered and died at a young age".

She was eighty something when she died in the seventies.

THESE are the good old days...and they are just getting better and better.

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Agreed.
We create our own "good old days" right now, even as we go.
There IS no going back... which is why I tell people they are wearing the "rosy beer goggles of time" when they think they can.

Seeing the mass porting from facebook to steemit, i will not be surprised that steemit may become the most patronized social media by dec 2018

2018 will really be a year of upliftment and fulfillment for steemit

And i am glad you and i are part of it

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I don't know about mass adoption this year, but I could totally see Steemit reach 2-3 million users by the end of 2018, compared to the 500,000 and change we currently have.

I'm very happy to be part of this movement, and happy to be in it at the "ground floor."

I am very nostalgic and love photos and memories from the past. I think they are what made us who we are. When I look at the future, I hope to make memories that I will look back on with pride when they are my past. I hope to make great memories for my son as well.

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In most ways, I find that reliving memories through photographs is actually easier than to physically go back to a place. When I look at the photos, I can still feel how it felt to be part of that moment... that's part of the beauty of old photo albums.

alright but sometimes i still gonna go back, i know everuthing has changed but somewhere i still feel it even just a little bit

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Well, I wish you luck and a good journey, but I am not sure you're going to find what you hoped you were going to find.

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Thank you so much, i can understand you mean ^^

You are right. You can not go back. The places may remain unchanged but it is you who has grown and changed. I haven't lived in Canada for almost 18 years. I went back to visit my brother a year ago. I visited the area were we had once lived. Nothing had changed much. Eve the people remained somewhat unchanged. But I had changed. When we expose ourselves to different cultures, languages and ideas we become more global citizens than citizens of any one country. We have evolved into something quite different than we were.

I no longer set firm goals. I like the flexibility to change direction if I wish. I could not imagine myself sticking with my former career until I retired. It did not suit where I wanted to be.

Beeeeeautiful!!! I don’t have time now to reply properly but I have a million of thoughts after reading your wonderful words.
Happy New Year!!!
You are inspiring me to find myself in the „NOW“ again ......I got lost just yesterday posting too many “images”. Time to move on and face the cold winter days.
💜

Your goals are all attainable if you will create a plan for it realization and spend time to work the plan. Yes we cannot recreate our nostalgic yesterday but create our yesterday of tomorrow today. Have a nice day.

You are correct that we can not go back, as that is our foundation. And just like the bottom of our feet, we can look at briefly, but to maintain balance we must put them back on the ground.

Wow! What a nice post! I was wondering why I have been thinking about the past almost nonstop lately. One thing came up after another, it's a bit like rewinding a video tape to see certain scenes of the movie again. I didn't seek out the past, the past came to me. So, I have been wondering about the reason. Is it possible that I left certain things unresolved and I need to really look at them again in order to let go!
Too many things to finish up at work to really be bothered by other things at the moment. But I know I need some quiet time to be still and listen to the inner voice.

Cheers.

When I look back it's usually from a place of curiosity and wonder that I used to care about certain things that no longer matter. And it makes me consider what matters to me now that, in the fullness of time, will also seem less important.

I don't set goals at all. I've found that I never reach them so why bother? However, I do drift around sometimes, seemingly doing nothing and going nowhere but is that really such a bad thing? It only is when I think it is!

It does cause friction though, living in a western culture. So often people ask "what have you been doing?" or "what are you up to now?" and I feel uncomfortable when I can't answer. It's hard to remember from one day to the next.

If I have one wish for 2018 it is to simplify my life in terms of external stuff. (I'm drowning in a sea of paperwork for example) and to be more present to and peaceful with that which was is actually here right now.

I feel I've done a good job of not looking towards the past, now my learning is in not looking towards the future! 😍