Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Living in the past? No, I don't think so...

I was listening to the radio today. A celebrity was talking about his new autobiography, and how he found it quite difficult to write as he did not dwell on the past at all. It got me thinking. My father-in-law, who has been ill recently, spends most of his time talking about things that happened 20, 30 years ago, maybe more. Its as if the past 20 years haven't happened for him.


It made me look at myself and I was surprised, although I don't know why, to realise that I rarely think about the past. Yes, I occasionally think about my father and the memories of him move me, but they are memories of the feel of him, how his hands looked, the way he ran... I don't dwell on events in the past.


I live my life for today, this moment. I don't really spend a lot of time looking to the future either. I may plan my work for next week, or think about what I am going to buy for my husband on Valentines Day, but I don't spend ages worrying about what might or might not happen in 10 years time.


I am not sure whether this is the norm or not. I have no faith, although I once did, and I have thought long and hard about what I believe. I find myself content in the life I lead, doing my best to help others along the way, failing in many ways I'm sure. I do not believe in a Heaven or a Hell , but I respect those who do. After all, none of us know for sure until we die, do we ? When I was strong in my faith I believed that I could just trust and all would be well... I did not need any proof. But now my faith is in living each day in the best way I can. I am not afraid, at this point in my life, of dying. I saw my dad die painfully and I hope that I will have his strength and dignity when my time comes.


No, I live for now. Not in the sense that I lead a wild, debauched life... I am sensible and ordinary, but in the way that I try to enjoy each moment, I try to make my life rich by making the lives of those around me richer. I don't know if I succeed, but I try.


I don't expect anyone to agree with me particularly, and I am pretty sure there are some out there ( thinking of Armageddon's comment last post here ) who would deeply disagree with me. I am happy that I have come to this stage in my life, where I can feel content. Of course, I may change as I grow older, and like my father-in-law I may come to dwell on happier times in my past.But, right now, these are my happier times.

13 comments:

Urban Cynic said...

I was just thinking about this subject the other day & I sort of agree. I look back sometimes but I never go back; I try to learn from the past but not to live in it. I don't think too much about the future as things can change so quickly. I think it's important to live in the here & now; some people spend their whole lives either dwelling on the past or worrying about the future when it's now that's important & now that's real.

Sarah said...

Hi Urban Cynic ( I do love that name!!)Its funny isn't it? Not something I've really thought about before... it just struck me the other day when I heard this radio programme. S

Gail said...

When you really think about, now is it.

Inkling said...

Sarah, i just read Arm's words on the last post (at least until i got totally bored and irritated after the first 100 words), and have to say this to you....

Way to go for being gracious and beautiful in your response to him. I am very impressed, and think that you acted in a way that is much wiser than what I would have done. Ironically, you responded to him the way Jesus would - with grace and mercy and a loving attitude even though he deserved much worse for his judgmental and holier-than-thou attitude. I think he's the perfect example of what Ghandi said about choosing not to be a Christian. I'm just sorry a so-called follower of Jesus had the gall to act in a way that makes us all embarrassed for him. But I still sit back in awe at the graciousness of your response. If those of us who do claim to follow Jesus could just be as gracious and forgiving as you....

Way to go. You make this world a better place.

Balou said...

Wow Sarah. You and I think quite alike. A good reminder to look at each day and try to make it a good memory.

I, like you, am content in being surprised when and if I leave this body. Until then, I'll treat others as I would like to be treated and help others along the way. I've read the most common factor between all major religious teachings is the golden rule. It's a biggie and if everyone truly followed it, what a beautiful place this would be.

Sarah said...

Hi Gail. yup. make the most of now!

Inkling! How lovely to hear you... congratulations on your new arrival! And thank you for your very kind and flattering words. I wasn't sure how to approach Arm's comment, but your words mean an awful lot to me as I know you have a very strong faith.If there were more people like you in the world it would be a better place.Thank you. S

Sarah said...

Hey, Balou! I am with you on the Golden Rule thing... its just so simple isn't it? Why make life any harder? S

grrl+dog said...

The American INdians had that great saying, "It's a good day to die."

Meaning you were at peace with yourself, and feeling present and united with the world.

Lula said...

How profound, I think that was well said and well written. I have my on ideas about faith as well, I do belive in God but choose to keep it to myself and personal as I think it should be. I try not to dwell in the past. I think those who do have given up on life and stopped living. Any way you made me think. I like that

Sarah said...

Hi Grrl+dog... I like that saying - not that I fancy popping my clogs just now...

Well, Lula, I am not often one for profundity... I am quite well known for my shallowness, but this one just seemed to flow. Glad you liked it!

Gail said...

How about a little Budda? "Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment"

When Daddy got dementia, he spent alot of time in the past. I think he purposely was ignoring the memory of Mom. Then he would remember she was gone and it was just like he lost her again.

Hang in there. I know it's hard but it is good you are there for him.

Sarah said...

Oh, that must have been so hard for both him and you, Gail.I like the Buddha thought. S

FarmWife said...

I'm with Inkling on the whole Armageddon thing. It makes me wonder if he is a blog stalker leaving similar comments on blogs he stumbles upon. It makes me sad.

I cannot imagine many people are scared into true faith. It's just not a good tactic.

As to your idea of living in the present, I agree. It's even a Biblical value. Christ said not to worry about tomorrow because tomorrow has enough worries of it's own.