By Jim “Pappy” Moore
Time Travel. We all do it. We go back in time with our memories of days gone by. Mostly we remember how good they were. We remember the fun things we did as kids during the summer when school was out. We remember the fishing. We don’t much remember the sweltering heat. We remember the lightning bugs at night. We don’t much remember the mosquitoes.
We remember Mama calling outside “you kids come to supper!” We remember sitting down to that supper where everyone in the family was there, where no one was watching the television, where no one had a phone in their hand, where no one was looking at a small screen.
We remember no one calling on the telephone during the supper time because that was considered rude and people – not even friends – did that. We remember no one interrupting supper with a knock on our door. Respectable people knew that supper time was family time.
We remember loading up in the car for that trip which took us cross country, often stopping to see relatives. We remember the games we played in the car. We don’t much think about the arguments we kids got into or the threats our parents made to “pull this car over and give all you kids a whipping.”
Life is good most of the time when you’re growing up. There’s not much yesterday or tomorrow. There’s today. What are we doing today? We lived in today. That was the secret to our happiness. Tears? Punishments? Homework? Those were done and gone. We lived in this moment, the only moment we really have.
As we lose that childlike approach to living, we begin to worry. We think more about the bad things that happened to us last week, last year, last century. We have more fear, because we know things don’t always work out right. Death doesn’t seem so far away when loved ones and friends start to die off.
When we reminisce with friends, even as we are older, we tend to focus most on those happier times. Grade School. Junior High. High School. Young adulthood. Parenting foibles.
But in our later years, we can get stuck if we think too much about the anxieties that living a long time can bring. Things that never bothered us when we were twenty years younger do bother us in later years. Fear becomes a bigger part of our lives.
If you find yourself spending time worrying, remember that worry almost never improves your life. Fondly remembering all the good things you have had in your life brings joy and laughter. Do not dwell on that insurance company representative who kept you waiting, or that doctor’s office that let you sit outside an extra hour. Think about how much fun you had the last time you spent with a grandchild, or maybe a grandniece. Think of the soul-cleansing effect of making a child happy, and see the joy on their face as they experience good times with you.
Our soul needs refreshing. It needs a good rinsing. Daily. We can give it that. We have to embrace the good, and reject the bad. We cannot dwell on the pains of yesterday, today or tomorrow. Choose your time traveling. Set your controls on Joy and Happiness. Then shower yourself in the love that brings you.
Copyright 2023, Jim “Pappy” Moore. All rights reserved.