Looking Back; Moving Forward

For many of us we use the calendar to help us remember important and special events in our lives. We know that January 1 is always New Years Day, that February 14th is Valentines Day, and October 31st is Halloween.

But our brains don’t just remember the days that are happy events, we associate certain events with the negative or unhappy things that have happened as well. I read recently in a book a quote that perfectly

describes how our emotions and time are related in our minds: “…happiness has a way of quickening. Grief marks things. Joy lets them through. Days and months can pass in the blink of an eye” (The Dinner List, 102-103). It is so easy to look at the dates on a calendar and remember what it was that happened a week ago, a year ago, 10 years ago.

This week has been a hard one for me. I keep thinking about the events of a year ago. The sting of betrayal. The strangeness of now. What I was feeling then, and what I am feeling now. It’s important for us to remember, but we also can’t let ourselves live in the past.

I have seen in many places on social media that we should use 2019 as a year for growth. We often reflect on our lives and resolve to change as a new year begins. We often resolve to get rid of the person that we have been. But why must we always? The person we have been is the person who got us to where we are today. The person we have been has helped shape who we are. We can always resolve to be better, but we should never completely get rid of our old selves. We should grow and reflect; we should nurture our strengths and resolve to turn our weaknesses into lessons to learn from.

Last night I spent time with friends going through our calendars. We shared with each other the important events that we want to share, like birthdays and anniversaries. We made a plan to have dinner together (planned, not just spontaneous). And as I looked at my calendar, it was a reminder that WE decide what is important each day. WE are the ones who can mark those moments of happiness or grief.  

As I look back, I am going to keep moving forward. I want to focus on the days and moments that bring me happiness and joy. I want to make the most out of each day.

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