REFLECTION: Finding myself hooked into a nostalgic frame of mind, I can’t pinpoint just one thing that is making it difficult to settle down to work this week. I can say that there are more than a handful of possibilities.
Maybe it was the extended family gathering last weekend that celebrated one sister’s 40th birthday and another’s 50th. Maybe it was the fact that for the first time ever, all six sisters spent an afternoon together – without any parents, spouses, children or grandchildren at hand.
Perhaps it was having two daughters, one son-in-law, and a grandson under our roof over the long weekend – all headed back in the directions of their respective homes by Monday afternoon. It could have been the passing of two aunts in the same week.
It might have been the trip I took down memory lane as I junked out the address cards in the family rolodex – seeing the names and picturing the faces of my daughters’ school and sport friends – youngsters who used to be a part of our family life on a weekly basis. It could be the planning we are doing for my husband’s milestone birthday trip this fall.
Whatever it is, when the emotions simmer so close to the surface, it’s somewhat unsettling. At the same time, it’s a very strong reminder of what it really means to be alive in this hectic, changing world of ours. Relationships and experiences come and go throughout our lives, sometimes faster – and occasionally slower – than we might hope.
Over the years, when emotions have sidetracked me or derailed me from whatever plans I had in mind, I’ve learned to simply sit with the feelings. Like the experiences that give rise to them, the feelings come and the feelings go. Sometimes, paying attention and taking note is all that’s required.
ACTION: When you find yourself emotionally sidelined, extend a bit of grace and understanding in your own direction. Follow life’s lead. Mark the moments. You’ll move on and get down to business soon enough.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK: “Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense, but the past perfect!” – Owens Lee Pomeroy
“The world is full of people whose notion of a satisfactory future is, in fact, a return to the idealized past.” – Robertson Davies
“Things ain’t what they used to be and probably never was.” – Will Rogers
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: If you’re in the mood for a leisurely amble down memory lane, read “Gone Fishing’ by Peter Fossel: http://www.americanprofile.com/article/854.html I loved this line: “When the sign on the door of our remembered youth said, ‘Gone Fishing,’ it announced not only the condition of business (closed) but that of its owner (healthy).”
READERS WRITE: In response to last week’s Pause message, Quantum Sufficit, CBH writes: “Interesting subject. Our son graduated from University and is starting his first full-time job in Ontario. He is committed to down (or perhaps right) sizing his possessions and things he will need for his new apartment and life. We are concerned that he will feel nostalgic about discarding some of his childhood collections. After reading this column, I think he has it right and we’ll support his efforts to declutter his world. Thanks, I always feel inspired after reading your weekly emails. ”