Emerging from the Past

Image provided by Jase Hill https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasohill/
Image provided by Jase Hill
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasohill/

The new calendar year is coming upon us. There’s no way of stopping it, no matter how much we may love to regress for one reason or another.

How often have you wished you could go back to an earlier time in your life, either to revel in the pleasure you had or to change what you, now, believe was wrong, a mistake in some way? Approximately twenty years ago, I was in the habit of reminiscing way more often than I should. At the time, there seemed to be so many things in my past I wanted to change; things that could have easily been changed at the time they happened with no prior knowledge of the outcome. If I had just paid better attention to what was going on in my life at the time and about life in general, the changes I, later, thought I should have made would have greatly enhanced my life. What I didn’t want to change, I wanted to relive. This type of retrospection can only lead to living in an illusion of the past.

Some people think we get a second chance in our lives. My question: How can that be? You never ever have the chance to fix anything in your past. To get a second chance at a situation required you to go back in time. None of us are time travelers so this notion is completely bogus. What’s done is done, period. It can’t be reversed. It’s a bitter lesson for many to learn, I’m afraid. The best we can do is to be more vigilant about what is in our individual futures.

During these last few days of the current year, many make plans — resolutions. Although I’m not one to partake in this activity, I certainly understand the reasoning behind it. Drawing up plans for success is, most definitely, a smart thing to do. In my case, I do engage in preparing for short-term goals, but I leave long-term goals in the abstract because I’m so acutely aware of all the unseen twists and turns in life. This is, also, one of the reasons why I don’t make year-end/beginning resolutions, of course. There are too many unseen variables that can and usually do happen in that length of time.

The other reason for my rejection of this yearly activity is, so often times, these aims are based on failures from the past, in an attempt the rectify these missteps. Again, it’s getting into delusions that should be avoided at all cost. Those blunders cannot be fixed. They’re part of the past and will always stay the same. All that can be done is to take heed of how to avoid them in the future, if possible.

Nonetheless, having a set date used, January 1st, to “let go” of the past, at least to some extent psychologically, and move forward with anticipation and hopes for the future can be liberating. During most Januarys, you will find me doing “spring housecleaning”. I figure I’ve got the entire month to get it done so I don’t end up feeling rushed. Everything I can throw away or put away that reminds me of the cold months, including the holiday season, brightens my spirit. I bring out items that are more in line with the feeling of spring, in hopes of doing away with the seasonal blues that may still be lurking around after the furor of the winter festivals. The dreary weather, unfortunately, lingers for a few more months.

In my writing, I’m a pantser. There isn’t anyway I can demand an outline to work with the way my brain assimilates data. I find that I approach life, as a whole, the same way, although with little pieces of schedules and planning so I can, more easily, adapt to the lives of the people around me.

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Are you a pantser or planner of life?

I believe we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.  – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
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14 Replies to “Emerging from the Past”

  1. I catch myself wanting to fix past mistakes and I work hard to stop those memories. All we are guaranteed is this moment, so I make vague future goals/plans but constantly asses my intent to make sure I change something if I’m not heading the right direction. If I need, I will change that direction. Sometimes my goals even change because they become irrelevant over time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Irrelevant goals, yes, I know exactly what those are seeing I’ve had my share of them. I’ve gotten so I rarely call a goal ‘a goal’, and instead, call is a wish. Certainly it’s a realistic wish and worth shoot for, at least at the time, but I find it easier to let go if calling it this. Yes, a mind game, but it works for me. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I try to plan, but I don’t worry about sticking to the plan because, you’re right, there are too many unforeseen twists and turns and we don’t get any do-overs. I take what comes and try to fit it into the plan. sometimes, I need a new plan, too! I hope you have a very Happy New Year Glynis.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve found those new plans that have materialized from prior discarded ones are usually more sensible than what I originally had. Where did I read about us always evolving? :/

      I wish you a Happy New Year too, Dan. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I never thought it odd that once I close a door, it stays closed. I don’t look back; I file. Once filed, no need to go back. This has always worked for me without any conscious effort.
    In life as in writing, I am a pantser.
    Wish you all these best this season of change has to offer, especially good health, happiness and success in 2016. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In gone by years, it just took some deliberate musing to find what I was doing that was holding me back, the dwelling on the past bit. Once discovered, ‘filing in the back room’ became second nature for me too.

      I wish you a happy and fulfilling New Year, Tess. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have many regrets and much remorse. They guide me to choose better next time but not always successfully.
    As for planner or pantser – I try a little of whatever works, often finding I’m stuck being a ping pong ball, getting slammed by outside forces demanding my attention.
    Happy spring cleaning to you, Glynis, and all the best in 2016.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I used to be that ping pong ball, myself. It’s an exhausting way to try to live your days. In order for me to stop that motion, I had to isolate myself to a large extent and resolve all the conflicts within, without the agitation beyond me. I ended up doing it in chunks of time and limiting my connections with the outside world to just my family for a while. This isn’t, however, the way everyone should get rid of the mental and psychological clutter.

      I can assure you that the quiet of January is going to be wonderful for me.

      Wishing you a Happy New Year too, Sharon. ❤

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