Old Or New?

The other night my husband and I were sitting outside, enjoying the warm evening, talking about our past and the present and what might be in our future. I got to the point where I started to talk about my horse and the place I’ve liked to visit the most during our rides. And I got a bit sentimental as the day I lost my horse is approaching fast and somehow, although I try not to, the memories always seem to come up around this time of the year. Maybe it’s because in my head I still realize that up on the northern side of this planet it’s fall now, the season I enjoyed the most while having my horse around. Maybe it’s because it was on a birthday of a friend of ours who only recently has passed away unexpectedly. For some reason it got to me while speaking with my husband.

His reaction, as always, was wonderful.

He picked me up. In his way. And he made me feel so much better. And then he said something that at first confused me but then made me think and think.

Why do we keep losing ourselves in old memories, in things that have passed, while in the meantime we can create new ones?

I was a bit confused as we talk about things that we’ve been through every now and then and I feel it’s a good thing to do. When he mentioned this I also thought that this is the definition of memories. Something happens, you do something that you will talk about for the rest of your life. Kind of. It’s the idea of creating memories, isn’t it?

But then I thought about it a little longer. Oh I know what you are thinking! There was a lot of thinking going on… my brain still feels exhausted about it… those little grey cells suddenly got really busy…

And I realized that very often we actually get lost in our memories. We hang on to them too tight. Because they are all about a moment we enjoyed so much that we probably wish it would never end. By hanging on to this memory we kind of stop living in the now. We focus too hard on how it used to be and what we used to do. We want to recreate it instead of creating new things.

Just think about it. As an example think about traveling. Maybe you traveled to a place when you were young and single (or with an ex) and you loved that place so much that you decide to go back, this time with your family, with your kids. You’ve told them so much about it and you are super excited. And then you arrive there and things are different. Maybe the place changed. Maybe the people are not as friendly anymore. And maybe, just maybe it’s all different because you are no longer as young and you travel with a family. So your experience will be different. If you hang on too tight to the memory you had, the way it used to be, you will spend the entire time there being disappointed. Maybe it actually goes as far as spoiling the experience for everyone. Instead of ticking the past off and being in the moment, with the people that are now there and making new memories with them.

The traveling example is only one of many you could mention here. Restaurants, hikes, movies, books, music, partying, Christmas, Halloween, even recipes.

And actually, as I’ve used a gif from this movie anyway, the story of ‘Inside Out’ is about this. The hanging on to how things were instead of freeing yourself up to enjoy what is now.

And suddenly what my husband said made total sense (don’t tell him I said that…).

Cherish your memories. Share them. But don’t hang on too tight or you will get lost in them and suddenly you won’t see what’s actually around you, here, now.

42 thoughts on “Old Or New?

  1. Wise words.

    I think it’s okay to hold on to our memories as long as we put them away and take then out just once in a while. They’ll still be there, all shiny and bright when we need them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is why I like old photo albums. You take them out, reminisce, cherish times gone by, then put them away and carry on with the now.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You’ve really got me thinking with this post. Indeed, there I was poised at my desk having another few sips of tea just letting those ideas circulate a little longer so I could weigh things up. I am an incredibly sentimental person and I also collect things from the past. I collect those beautiful antique and vintage tea cups and saucers which I call my old ladies. I also have table clothes, serving plates etc to go with them. I do have a set or two but what I love is the variety of designs. These remind me of cups of tea with both my grandmothers who are now both gone but it’s become my thing too and our family has afternoon teas using the cups and so we’ve carried that tradition forward. I also collect old books. I particularly notice with old books the storage trouble and the difficulty finding space for the new. We need history. We need memories but we also need to move forward and have enough space to embrace the future and not have to send the future away with a dismissive: “Sorry, there’s no room at the inn!”. You never quite know what we could be missing out on! xx Ro

    Liked by 1 person

  4. For me, it would be which horse, and what date. Still, the moments I shared with each of them were beautiful in my mind. I completely agree with what you wrote here. However, I allow myself to live in the moment, and still smile as the memories catch me in a wisp of thought. Yes, at times, they overcome with a torrent of tears, but mostly they make me happy.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. One thing I love about WP is that a simple comment on a post can trigger so many memories. It’s great to have a way to express them here. It happens to me all the time.

    I cherish the memories, and somehow manage to still live in the moment. It’s a balancing act that evolves over time.

    Thanks for having so many insightful posts, Sandra. This one is no exception !

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you so much for this beautiful post, Sandra. Great reflections and conclusions. The quote of your husband is simply spot on. He’s so right.
    What’s nice is that I’m right now traveling with my husband for a weekend out and we have just talked about the same subject. What a synchronicity!
    Your wise words added depth to our conversation.
    Have a lovely weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your husbands words ring wisely. I wIll be nominating you for ‘The Creative Blogger Award’. I realise that you have accepted this award a few times already, but I hope it’s alright with you. I see your creative juices flow daily, in a relevant, yet new way, and I would like to show my appreciation. I will be including you in a post titled ‘Laborde:Little house’ on Sunday 1st November. Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. He is absolutely right. I’ve been there before – held onto the memories of my past so tightly that it almost ruined the present. Memories are great to look back on, but we must be careful not to live in them. They blur our vision and sometimes cause us to be overly and needlessly critical of our life ‘now’, until we’ve ruined all that it before us. Nothing that we go back to would be the same now, and there is a reason why it’s in our past and not in our present.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a great sentence: “There’s a reason why it’s in our past and not in our present…” I agree, if we could go back everything would be different. And yet again, the conversation with you feeds my mind and creates new thoughts…

      Like

    • Sometimes I recall the negative stuff from my past, where things happened or I did things that I didn’t like then and/or don’t like now. I am grateful then that I have moved on from that place, often having learned a lesson from the experience which I now cherish mostly in relation to where and how I am now, in a much better, happier and more satisfying place. Maybe that’s a “benefit of aging,” one of the subjects I like to blog about.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree completely with you. When we look back we can see why everything happened the way it did and how our choices got us to where we are now. There is a lesson in everything; something to make us better, to lead us on the right path. All we must do is listen to it and then apply it.

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  9. Pingback: Blast From The Past – Fast Forward Your Life | A Momma's View

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