Was there a time when life seemed easy, less frenetic and more relaxed than the competitive treadmill we now call life.
Carefree, TBC (Time before children) , single holidays, independence, Thursday nights watching Friends and ER, Friday nights clubbing, Saturday night clubbing, no emotional baggage, no real work issues to worry about, only fun.
I have yet to meet someone who says I have it all and the perfect work-life balance.
“Maybe you have to let go of who you were in the past in order to become who you will be or truly are now” Carrie Bradshaw says in Sex and the City.
Her words have true meaning holding on to a time when you were independent, younger and very different from the person you have become.
If we are holding onto the good things from our past does it really mean we want to be that person, relive it again rather than embracing the future and all its unpredictability?
I have been hearing ‘I miss the good old days,’ a lot recently, what does it mean?
Is our lifestyle more complicated than it use to be?
Are we hunkering after something lost?
We live in a world of terms and conditions governed by rules, regulations and instructions, we are drowning in a sea of rules.
We are so overtly regulated that no wonder many are feeling that their independence and liberty they experienced in their youth has been slowly eroded by time.
Was life really simpler thirty years ago?
I was in my late teens, I had University ahead of me, a whole life before me filled with a sense of foreboding and excitement.
Thirty years later I look back at my life not with anger or resentment but with a sigh and shrugged shoulders, that person I now see in the mirror was she really bold and brassy back then?
Did I really get to do the things I wanted to do, go to the places I was desperate to see or have I sold myself short?
I didn’t travel as far and wide as I hoped, I didn’t achieve the red porsche that I hoped I’d get by twenty-five and I certainly didn’t become the millionaire such was the confidence, hopes and arrogance of my youth.
I am not young enough to know everything. Oscar Wilde.
I’ve lost my sense of adventure and my audaciousness it went when I married for the second time and had children.
I have forgotten what it is like to step out and be me, free from all of the shackles and constraints that go with being a working mother, husband, friend, confidant and lover (ok so the latter maybe a little exaggerated).
When we are young we do know everything, we are bold, enlivened and audacious.
Are we wrong to question how our life turns out, should we strive for something big and better or settle for being happy with what we’ve got?
Buddhists say that you need to let go of your past to create a new future.
When I look back on my life I see pain, mistakes, some heartache and nostalgia for a time when life seemed less complicated.
As I consider my present I see strength, lessons learned, pride in my family and achievements.
I believe it is important to look back because it helps understand who we are, what we’ve become or are becoming, where we are going and where we finally end up.
We celebrated our son’s thirteenth birthday recently along with the rest of the family, we talked for hours about how life seemed a lot more fun when we were teenagers compared to being adults, time passed more slowly so it seemed, we remembered long school summer holidays, going out with friends great memories and happy times.
If you think it goes fast now wait until you get past fifty!
I sat and listened to them chatting away and reflected on how quickly they have grown, each one with a different story to tell and at different stages of their lives, excited, exuberant, full of the joys of youth.
I glowed with pride at my brood, how they’ve embraced life and are making the best of it, my youngest step-son had these words of wisdom to share, ‘life is too short, what is the point in worrying and getting stressed we can’t always change the outcome but we might be able to influence what happens in our future’.
Are we fixated on where we think we should be, how we are going to get there and whether we really are enjoying our life?
We can change direction, it just rather depends on how confident we are and knowing where we want to be, but, sometimes looking back reminds us of the importance of what we have in our lives and to make more time to do the things we really want to do.