As we think of the year ahead, we also tend to wander back to years past. If we haven't released the hurtful times, we may still feel pain in remembering. But the happy memories can be painful too. We long to reach into the past and re-live those happy experiences. But we can't bring them back. They're gone.
Recently I saw a friend I haven't seen in a while. I feel we're still close, but our lives took different turns, and I miss the times we used to share on a routine basis. I found myself remembering some of our experiences, and I felt the sadness of loss. Then my mind took me back to other wonderful people and experiences that I still want to hang onto. I remember an Alaskan cruise with dear friends, a cross-country trip with my best buddy who is gone now, Christmas parties at work, dancing to exhaustion, jumping into a pool from the high diving board with all my clothes on, and holding my sides with laughter at a friend's silly joke. Sometimes, when I'm driving in the car listening to the radio, I'll hear an old song that was meaningful to me. Then I have to grab a tissue to dry my eyes enough to see where I'm going. Yes, those wonderful old times can be bitter-sweet, and we don't want to let them go.
Some people are in our lives forever, and we create new memories as we go along, while others come into our lives and stay only a little while. But some of those get tucked inside our heart, and they're always there. I think it's good to think about those good old times and enjoy the memories with a smile. But we need to let them stay where they are. The pain lies in wanting to go back, see the people again, be in what we may feel was a better place. If we fill our mind with longing for the past, we don't make room for the future--new experiences, and maybe new people, to help us grow and become more of what we want to be.
We don't know what beauty may be waiting for us just around the next corner--new experiences we can add to those other wonderful memories to enjoy now and then while we continue moving forward.
Life may contain some bumps, but it sure is an interesting journey.
I wish you peaceful memories and a joyful road ahead.