Ever think about the past? Not the past that pops in and out of your head, gone too fast to really get a hold of. Like how an occasional daydream or an old song can momentarily send you back in time for a few fleeting seconds. But these are just teasers, quick flashes and micro bursts of past memories that moments later are quickly forgotten. What was I just thinking about? Nope it’s gone! Too late now, the moment has passed.
No, I mean the past like, coming across some old photo albums that you’ve almost forgotten you have because it’s been so long since you’ve last flipped through them! Perhaps you find yourself alone on a dark rainy day curled up in your favorite chair, your ever attended phone temporarily forgotten as you slowly flip through these old cherished memories. Old fading pictures from a camera that no longer exists.
SNAPSHOTS IN TIME
If you take your time to savor each and every photo, the people and places, events and occasions come flooding back in a rush of memories. Almost like a magic time-machine that transports you back in time and suddenly you find yourself back in the past! Reliving those days long gone bye.
Look how young I was here! And hey, that was my best friend “so-and-so” I wonder how their life turned out? There’s our old house! The family so young and vibrant! And the old gang! Boy we had some good times back then!
And as you go on reliving these old snapshots in time, your memory seems to get stronger and now a single photo can lead to a branching of many different associated memories spreading out far and wide and leading to other branching moments in time. Growing and filling out the memory tree that was your life. Is your life!
After all, in the end, isn’t it our memories that ultimately define us? Define — who we are?
Life is a rush! Was a rush that is, pre-Covid days! A hurried day to day journey filled with things to do, places we must go and errands we must run. Filled with obligations, necessary jobs to complete or to go to and every step of the way the constant interactions with others. Alone time back then was very hard to find. — Yet even science now tells us, it’s very important to our overall well-being.
Although by nature we are a very social species, we all need some time alone. Time truly alone, with just our thoughts for company. Time to think, to self-reflect uninterrupted. Time to put our invasive emotions in proper perspectives and time alone to simply let our minds wander and land wherever may be.
I do speak from experience. I, too, was once lost in the daily pursuit of the present. Working long hours and trying to catch up with things that needed to be done on my days off. Social commitments, family and friends, then back to work and start the cycle all over again. Remember those days? Don’t get me wrong — I was happy! Or at least I thought that I was? Same difference anyways, don’t you think?
Then everything changed! An early retirement and my workweek was suddenly gone! Life itself slowed down. My emotions became less invasive, at least in the sense that I became more aware of them and understood them better.
Then the Pandemic! And of course now I find I have even more time on my hands.
Now for some of you, the sudden alone-time during Covid isolation may have been, or still is, an ongoing unpleasant experience. After all, it’s a big and sudden change in ones life. Perhaps the transition was easier for me as I’ve always been comfortable alone in my own skin. But I did have to kind of re-invent myself all over again. Find new things to do (blog) and old things I used to like to do (read.)
But the most startling thing that happened to me was how my brain seemed to slow down. Seemed to ease those intrusive emotional thoughts that used to flicker on and off and cloud my way of thinking. In time, and it did take some time, I found my thoughts clearing, and I was more able to contemplate on subjects that I wanted to. And think of them “when” I wanted to!
I’m not saying I suddenly became Einstein with a super brain or anything! But having time to be alone with my thoughts over a long period of time has been (for me) an enlightening experience!
This maybe just a personal individual reaction, while others, with their own different results? Some perhaps, still struggling with the sudden drop in live social contact and of course, all that extra me-time alone. The pandemic has certainly taken its toll on all of us. And in many ways as well.
I too took time to adjust to this new social calling. But in the end, I believe that alone-time can be a positive thing once accepted. It gives us time to regroup our thoughts and emotions. Time to regain some control and self-focus. A time for renewed clarity and a chance to reflect on what’s important in our lives.
And as a side benefit? You have time to recapture your old memories and walk through your past again as a child, an adolescent, a young adult. Relive those days of good health, strong bodies and an innocent mind as you remember the old days, old places and old childhood friends. The sights, the smells, the feelings of being young and care-free unburdened by the realities of adulthood. Remember those days?
So my advice, if you care to consider. Is to accept this time alone and don’t fight it! Use it instead to your advantage! Go back and visit the past and remember your personal journey here to the present. Re-think what’s important to you and who you really are.
Take a me-vacation back into the past and it just might clarify your present. After all, your life story starts there, in the past, a linear line of remembrance till today. And without the memories of your past, you would lose your identity. Lose the story of who you are! As a result, “you as You” would cease to exist! A stranger, not you, now taking your place.
So stand at your table of time and look back at the snapshots of memories that was your life. Is your life!
See once again the road you have traveled, relive and remember your life!
Behold Your Memories and Remember Who You Are!
THE WORD OF WAYNE
A Personal Perspective