So clearly time is one of those tricky things that you can never really quite get a hold on it.
You can never really hold the current time, because it’s always passing through, maybe just like water flowing down a river.
It’s a common metaphor to use for the passing of time, because you simply can’t freeze the river and hold on to any particular moment.
Although, I guess you could use the metaphor of the river, OK, you could say you could freeze the river.
If the river freezes, then it would stop flowing.
But I don’t know how to actually freeze the river of time.
So it’s going to keep going.
Time keeps moving, and we can’t even understand the way the present is until it’s already in the past.
It’s like we need to look at it to be able to understand what it’s like, but we can’t really look at the present in any kind of objective way, because our view of the present is full of all the concerns and thoughts and perspectives and feelings and everything that we have in the present moment that’s filling our view of what the present moment is like.
So we can’t just take a look and see “Oh yeah, that’s what this present is like.” We hear this message, of course, you know, you have to be grateful for the present, seize the day, andm you knowm really be present in the moment, and make the most of the present.
And yet it seems like most of the time when we’re actually in the present, it’s so full of all these concerns that we can’t really fully appreciate it.
And then we get into a later time.
Of course, inevitably time moves on, no matter whether we do good things at the time or not, and whatever we decide to do, the time will move on.
And then we look back at the time that used to be the present and we think “Oh, you know, that was a pretty good time.” But at the time, you know, it was a pretty good time, but at the time I wasn’t really thinking about that, because I had so much on my mind, all these concerns that have now disappeared along with the time that they were in.
So this seems to be the way it is all the time, but there seems to be just an extra level of poignancy in the current situation, in that this feeling of the “good old days”, now maybe they’re not good for everybody, maybe they’re bad old days, but the feeling of “those old days”, it never really feels that way in the present.
Sometimes I like to imagine telling myself, you know, “I’m living in the good old days.” Because in the future I will look back on these times as being the good old days.
Not always successful, but it seems like it can be a good exercise to try to put myself into that state of mind of really appreciating the moment.
But now, we have ended a phase of all our lives, of our history.
There’s a phase that has ended.
And, you know, without wishing to be overly dramatic about it, not wanting to exaggerate what’s going on, but there is a certain way of life, a certain way of being that it seems is now gone.
Of course, lockdown won’t be forever, but the effects of the severe shutdown will ripple out for years.
There will be so many changes and new difficulties that will be coming out of this, and I think we’re going to look back at the time up until early 2020, the years up until then, as really a kind of “good old days”, “days of innocence”, as the past always seems to look innocent.
Once we get into the future, we think “Wow, we were so innocent back then.” Both because we’re individually getting older, and also overall were entering new territory that makes the old territory look naive and innocent.
So it seems like that’s already the way this time is going to be remembered, the pre-2020 time.
And then I’m thinking well, you know, wow, I didn’t really live it as if it was the good old days.
I didn’t really- for the most part, I didn’t seize it as well as I could have.
But maybe that’s the way it is all the time.
We don’t really know, we can’t give a character to a time, until it’s already passed.
So now this time can be some kind of pre-lockdown glory days, good old days, but we don’t even recognize that as a time period until it’s already gone.
And now we’re into a strange new time, and once again, this is a time to seize the day as best we can, make use of this moment, and we will look back on this time as well at some point.
So it’s hard to really make myself have that perspective, because the present is so strong, just with filling me with all the concerns that the present is naturally full of.
But it seems like maybe this is a little trick that we can use to kind of pull ourselves out of the present and think “What will this look like looking back?” And then live as if wow, OK, I’m actually alive in the present in this time that I will at one point look back on.
#goodolddays #glorydays #daysbeforecovid