Taking a mental step forward
When Hayley shared this story with me, I was immediately inspired and ashamed. I began reflecting on my sometime negative outlook on life and especially the incessant ungratefulness of my current stock. Here was a 96-year-old aspiring for the future, while I, a healthy 33-year-old man, was spending a lot of time dwelling on the simplicity of the past: no mortgage, no waking up to go to work everyday, and on and on. How pathetic am I? I thought to myself.
Here was a 96-year-old aspiring for the future, while I, a healthy 33-year-old man, was spending a lot of time dwelling on the simplicity of the past.
While responsibilities and hardships are sure to confront each of us, having the right attitude to keep striving forth is paramount to our mental health and success in life. It’s easy to shrink back into simpler times when we’re faced with difficulties or setbacks, thinking to ourselves that the good days are long gone. But let me tell you, my friends: the good days aren’t behind us, they’re in front of us.
The best is yet to come
Doting on the past is comforting, like mom’s simple chicken noodle soup when you’re sick, but mom isn’t going to be around forever to nurture you back to health every time you fall ill. It’s certainly okay to fill yourself with the happiness that nostalgia provides — just don’t stay there too long.
The problem with living in the joys of the past is that you become more skeptical of the future. Once you’re holed up in that perpetual state, the future becomes discouraging — you might eventually fall into a depression, holding on to the drug of days gone by. So go ahead and reminisce about the good times, but keep in mind that beautiful memories and new experiences await you on the other side of yesterday.
Perhaps you’ve given up: I’m just too old to do this or that — to start that book, to go on that trip across Europe — it’s too late for me. As Kathleen has courageously shown us, it’s really not too late. If a 96-year-old can still endeavor to make the future hers, why can’t you?
If a 96-year-old can still endeavor to make the future hers, why can’t you?
Each of us is allotted a certain time on this earth, and as long as your clock hasn’t run down to zero, there is still hope for a brighter future ahead, and days full of laughter and joy. I hope that as I mature in age, I have the courage and attitude to keeping moving toward the future like Kathleen.