Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Obsessed With Nostalgia?

There were snow flurries yesterday morning. Before I could get too excited they went away. It was quite cold but without some snow accumulation it's not really winter.

On the local television stations there is already talk of spring and the Kentucky Derby. Christmas was barely over and the stores were already stocking the shelves for Valentines Day. Before the roses wilt and the chocolate goes stale, people will be thinking about St Patrick's Day and green beer. Our society is always fast forwarding life. When I was a boy and I spoke of the weekend, or a coming holiday, or a school break, my mother would say, "Boy, you are wishing your life away"! It's a tough thing to balance anticipation for the future with being grounded in the present. Why do we seem to have such a lack of appreciation for the present moment? A few days ago I was reading an editorial in the newspaper. As part of the article there was a picture of the legendary rock band, Led Zeppelin, from their recent reunion concert in London. By the way, as a side note, tickets for this show were distributed through a lottery drawing. 20,000,000 people from around the world bid for the tickets. Yes, I said twenty million! OK, back to the point. The editorial writer was saying that the picture of Led Zeppelin represented everything that's wrong with my generation. He was lamenting the baby boomers obsession with nostalgia. I admit that I love Led Zeppelin and if I get a chance, I will go see them. Just because the music of the sixties and seventies still sounds good to me doesn't mean I want to go back to that time. When I listen to Bach I am not dreaming of the 1700's. I do have many fond memories of my youth and my past. Having said that, let me state that I have no desire to go back and be twenty years old again. At this point in my life I do have a few aches and pains consistent with my current age but I like being my age and I like most of what I am experiencing now. I don't daydream too much about the future but I am sometimes curious about what might be around the bend. I have no desire to fast forward life. If anything, I am trying to slow it down so I don't miss anything. As one gets older you can occasionally feel a sense of urgency about living but I am not in a panic. I do have a greater appreciation for life and I try to enjoy everyday for I will not pass this way again. In many ways I think I have a maturity that is befitting my age but I also try to be silly and act like a child a few times a day. In this regard, my granddaughter, Chloe, has been a great teacher for me. Life is serious but we don't have to be serious every moment. We are on this earth to be happy. How many opportunities for happiness do we miss everyday? O yeah, cranking up some Led Zeppelin gives me a lot of happiness!

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