Bargell: Time flies
Special to the Daily
Someone has been messing with my calendar. Seriously, it says that it is now August and that just is not possible. Then again, I sometimes slip and put a 1998 date on my checks, so it could be that the problem lies with my inability to keep up with the times.
A high school Facebook friend recently sent me a link to a site titled “I was in Boulder, CO in the ’70s.” Because I was there,
I was curious and opened up the site. I expected to see a few posts about the good ol’ growing up days.
I was wrong. Instead,
I found a flood of posts and memories about the places we frequented, and even what was ordered off the menu at the Round the Corner Restaurant on the Hill. Most of the places are long gone, but they certainly have a legacy in our heads and hearts.
I then tried to stop reading the posts, really hard. With so little time to get things done in the present, I knew I did not have time to live in the past. But, I found myself drawn into the shared memories. The nostalgia was contagious. I suppose this shouldn’t be surprising, as nostalgia historically was considered a disease. In the 1700s folks suffering from nostalgiz, or “severe homesickness,” were treated for a medical condition. It wasn’t until 1920 that the meaning of the word shifted to a “wistful yearning for the past.” You know, when the days were always sunny and stress free.
It’s funny even little kids get wistful about their history, such that it is. Our girls don’t tire of hearing stories about when they were little, even when I am long over telling them. Sometimes it’s tempting to throw in a few spicy details, just to mix it up a bit. But I refrain, knowing that these stories are their treasures. So together we relive their short lives, nostalgic for just about everything but the four long years of diapers. Memories are funny that way, we can successfully filter out the difficult interludes, while enhancing our recollection of earlier times (kind of like retouching a photo, I once read). I like the fact I can relive it all through a vague haze of happiness.
Waxing nostalgic however does not jive with the popular notion of living in the present, a philosophy I agree with although I often struggle with its application. To help me out, a buddy of mine periodically sends me contemplations in Zen. Usually, I don’t have the heart to tell him, or admit to myself, that I just don’t get it. Recently, as he was preparing to attend his 30th high school reunion he passed along this beauty. “The most important moment is when we stop looking for a way out – when we realize after years of searching every nook and cranny of that room, that there is no door – and turn and face the craziness.” I kind-of like this one. It’s a reminder to embrace the craziness of the here and now. What makes it even better is knowing that today’s crazy moment will become tomorrow’s magnificent memory. Time to stop worrying about who tampered with my calendar, and instead rely upon it as a not so gentle reminder to go out and make some memories.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. Annie Dillard
Cindy Bargell lives outside of Silverthorne with her husband and two daughters. She is a
card-carrying PTSA member, real estate and natural resources lawyer and part-time gymnastics coach. She welcomes your comments at email@example.com.
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