Sunday, October 20, 2013

They're good and gone

Time can be classified into three time buckets:  past, present and future.  My good times can likewise be classified as: good old days, good now days and good days to come.

You know your good old days as well as I know mine and we both spend countless hours telling countless stories about them.

Some of my pleasant good old days memories are about attending high school, buying and driving my first car, serving as a soldier in the U.S. Army, attending college, courting and marrying my wife and being a father to my little daughter and son. 

I probably enjoy listening to other people’s good old days stories more than telling my own.  Listening to my father’s stories during the last couple years of his life, for example, provided me much joy while adding to my own inventory of good old days stories.

Good now days are what I’m presently living.  Sometimes, though, the goodness of them gets blurred by crosses I carry in my rest-of-life journey.

Like watching my father die a horrific and painful death, struggling to meet the special needs of a sick wife, and little aches and pains shouting at me inside my middle-aged man body.  There are others but, when they surface and control my now being, I pretend they do not exist by swapping them with pleasant thoughts from my good old days or good days to come. 

The good days to come, for me, seem something I pondered more about when a young college student.  They were a “great high” particularly when they were a safe distance from what was then my now.    

Like, for example, when I was a sophomore in college and my blue sky peaches and cream good days to come were a couple years away from being put to reality tests.  Pleasant thoughts about my good days to come were plentiful then and greatly contributed to a euphoria I regularly experienced.

My thoughts about living out the golden years of my life, I suppose, should provide a similar euphoria but thus far that hasn’t been my case.    Time will eventually tell and one day when I’m sitting in a rocking chair during the 11th hour of my life watching time go by, I may have a different perspective than now. 

So which of these good times is my favorite?  This is  a question I recently asked myself.  After some private reflection, let me share I'm not sure.      

There’s a natural attraction I have for my good old days and I believe the older I get the more this natural attraction will grow.  Maybe that’s why I enjoy listening to older people’s stories about their good old days.  They seem to share their stories better and they’re more enjoyable listening to than telling my own. 

However, just like the expression “The devil is in the details”, my pleasant yesteryear memories of my good old days may really be “deceptive in their distance.”  Their deception may undermine the goodness of both my good now days and my, hopefully, good days to come.

A friend’s perspective may have said it best when he recently shared that the good old days are good because they’re good and gone.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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