Saturday, July 14, 2007

Living for today

As I was driving to work early this morning, I was listening to The People's Pharmacy on a regional NPR station. I look forward to this show each Saturday a.m. for the up to date information, interviews and practical advice on health; physical and mental. This morning they were speaking about anti depressants, studies and the over prescribing without follow up metal health professionals. One caller explained that in 1982 she went through a horrible divorce that greatly saddened her. It never occurred to her to call her family doctor and ask for antidepressants. Instead, she journaled. Every day. It took her a good year to get over her experience however she emerged a better person. Now as I was listening, I thought, "Lady, there weren't that many antidepressants back then." Of course, I don't know that. I never heard of them until the 90's "when xanax was the cure all from smoking cessation to having it with a cocktail to relax. Anyhow, it was a great show to listen to and it made me think
about something that has bothered me for a long time. Mind you, it doesn't send me into the doldrums, but still it BUGS me. I betcha it bugs you too!
How many times a day do you find yourself thinking about something that happened way back when or what you are hoping to accomplish tomorrow or next week, or etc. How many times when remembering a situation did you think, "I should have said this" or "I wish I had handled that differently", "My big mouth" blah, blah, blah.

And how much energy is expended upon dreaming of tomorrow? Are you fulfilling today what you dreamt of yesterday, last week, last year?

I don't know what the answer to this is for me or for you, dear reader. I do know that some memories are meant to be shared with generations and then with generations to come. Our past loved ones will always be alive in our memories. When my kids were little I would talk to them about my grandparents. Each one was so exceptional - I was so very blessed to enjoy them and know them for a very long time. Anyway, I would speak of my grands often. One day my daughter who was about 4 said something which really I don't remember. I do remember what one of my boys said to her. He said, "That's what Great Old Grandpa used to say". That sweet memory became a shared memory for two generations.

Most of the time though, our thoughts of yesterdays are filled with regret and self loathing. How many times have you said, "If I knew then what I knew now . . . " I truly do aspire to live each day without offending anyone and by keeping myself on my toes so to speak. In truth, I have only a few major regrets. I can't go back and change them so I am still learning after all these years to forgive myself. It isn't like we are born omniscient! Surely if God forgives me, then I should be able to forgive myself and others. If God can forget, can I? Well, He has given me a brain that is pretty sharp. I think that the memories are so we don't make the same mistakes again? And the future??? I make goals, long range and short range. I do write them down. It helps me to see where I have come from in black and white - on paper -, not in my head where I climb mountains and fight dragons.

So, I guess as much as it bugs me to think on things past, I can funnel those thoughts into something positive that I can do TODAY. I have a tendency to be a dreamer, heads in the clouds, seeing everyone and everything through rose colored glasses. Thank goodness my memory is bad enough to keep me from being a skeptical cynic!


Wild Rose said...

I enjoyed reading your post Blondie. For me, I have found that meditation helps - it puts me in the moment and allows me to 'just be'...that's not to say that my mind always wants to go along, but the whole point of the exercise is to watch the thoughts that pass through without being critical or judgemental. I don't practise as often as I should, but I do feel better able to cope on the days when I make the effort.

The Jon Kabat-Zinn course has been really helpful.

Marie x

Dixie Redmond said...

I appreciate your thoughts - yesterday I lay in a hammock and watched the birds, and remembered that God takes care of them. I walked under the hugest old tree (oak? maple? forgot to check) and thought that it was probably a young sapling two or three hundred years ago. It was huge! And it made a lot of the things I worry about seem very small and unimportant.