Circa 2010 Versailles.

I was talking with a client the other morning while he was working hard doing bicep curls and lunges. I wasn’t. I was just watching and talking. At the time I was playing an ‘old’ song list.

Artists like Crowded House, Paul Kelly, Daryl Braithwaite and Powderfinger fired out tunes that just made you feel good. Those songs that make you want to sing along and tell stories from your younger past.

I MAY have owned a hair crimper (uncool) and Dunlop Volleys (cool- always) when these songs were around.

It begged me to ask the question- which I DID, while my client was just trying to breathe, “why do we think THIS music was better?”.

(His form and effort were perfect by the way so I could chat.)

WERE we happier then?

Is it because we had less responsibilities?

WAS it just better music?

Do we just associate that music with fond memories?

I guess it’s like reminiscing through certain scents, sounds or places. Every time I see a certain hedge plant I think of my grandma (bless her not-so-good cupcake making soul) because it reminds me of the walks we used to have together. She’d hold my hand and say my name so ‘poshly’.

When I smell freshly cut lawn, I think of fantastic summers and playing old-school style OUTSIDE until it got dark. I’d make cubby houses and ride a skateboard with a friend.

When I smell an old, stale, country pub I recall being with my parents after riding horses all day and grabbing dinner afterwards. Normally a soggy hotdog dripping with butter. We’d be tired and dirty but we were all together as a family.

When I taste Strongbow….oh . Stop the press. Let’s not recall THAT memory….(we’ve all got one of those haven’t we? )

Having thought about it for a few days now, like my ‘crazy’ mind does, I reckon I’ve worked it out.

I think we simply like recalling all the ‘good stuff’. We hold on to the happy memories, outings, friends, music, food- anything that made us feel content, safe and cheerful.

Perhaps psychologically we have a bias towards our past? The good bits of our past at any rate. Our memory is rose-tinted . We recall that great song by Hoodoo Gurus and the parties we used to go to but we forget how we sometimes felt lonely, frustrated or like our parents just didn’t understand us.

I often think of my year living and working in London in 2000 with fondness. I met some fantastic people, saw sights I still dream of and found confidence and independence.

But I don’t like to recall the fact that what spurred me to go ‘away’ was grief and healing from a boyfriend committing suicide.

I love talking about how I just KNEW I wanted to go in to Nuclear Medicine from year 8 at school but I don’t chomp at the bit to say this was because of having osteomyelitis- a rare but serious infection in my bones, and spending time in the hospital system.

In retrospect, my memories of childhood may even be more positive than the actual time they happened.

We often think ‘things were better in the old days’ but I think it all comes down to perspective. Yes- it feels like we had more fun, less responsibility, better music and maybe more self confidence but what about all the aspects of life that are better NOW than then? Do we appreciate them enough ?

Medical science, our income, perhaps living conditions, the love and support we now have, beautiful friends and children in our lives. Disease prevention, Netflix, Amazon, Jason Statham…..

So I guess I then want to ask,

Will we look back on TODAY with such fond retrospect? Will we appreciate how great life seemed ‘back then’?

Should we be endeavouring even more to appreciate the present moment?Be in the now? Live for today? Wouldn’t it be outstanding if that fond retrospection could become mindful jubilance RIGHT NOW ?

Hindsight can be frustrating. I think those Buddhists are on to something!

E x

PS- I’d love to know what your thoughts are on all this. Of course, I’m still thinking about it all….Do you think things were ‘better in the old days’ like our parents like to say? Do you think life is better now? Do you have any gorgeous and gooey memories you’d like to share?

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