Time’s really always on my mind. I’m either thinking about the past, the future or right now. Little things trigger that pang of nostalgia. Like watching White Christmas last night. I was watching the scene where Phil and Judy are dancing outside of the club to that song “The best things happen while you’re dancing…” and I remembered watching the movie as a little girl, sitting close to the tv. Thinking about how wonderful it would be to be an adult and to dance like that. Things that trigger me to remember what it felt like to be little girl and know that the world was ahead of me and that everything was ok. Mom and dad were taking care of me and there’s wasn’t a thing to worry about except who was going to pop more popcorn for the movie. Nostalgia is the wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time. The pain you feel along with nostalgia is the realization that you can never get those moments back. You can never go back to your family, your life that way, just like that, ever again. If I had known to snapshot every perfect moment in my mind and file it away forever, I would have. But I didn’t know enough about life yet. Know that grandparents won’t always be vibrant and goofy or even there. Know that someday fear will accompany you instead of reckless abandon. If only I had known, I would’ve soaked it all the way up. I wouldn’t have rushed to grow up and leave it all behind.
I think about my future a lot too. Knowing there will be plenty of joy and pain to come. It’s all part of the composition of life. Hoping that the joy will outweigh the pain. Hoping my love will always be right there in every moment, every adventure, every sunrise and sunset, every success and lesson. Longing to know that I will sit and rock in our rocking chairs on our porch in the mountains when we’re very old. There’s pain in that feeling too- a hopeful longing.
The only control I have in both of these feelings is in the present. I feel like I’ve learned my lesson from my past. Embrace every moment. When I hug Justin, I literally drink in the moment. There’s no place I’d rather be. When I go for a run, I take deep breaths and appreciate my youth. When I see my family, I tell them I love them. The only balm for nostalgia and longing is to be thankful for right now.