Saturday, 28 December 2013


Wrapping paper added to landfill, turkey gobbled and stuffing, well, err, stuffed, we enter the last week of 2013. A time when most of us reflect, not just on the year gone but further back too.

I too often hear people say things like; live in the now; today is the first day of the rest of your life; the future depends on what you do today, and so on. One I have recently heard is, "you cannot use the past to fill what is missing in the present". I strongly disagree and would counter that, "one cannot erase or dismiss the past simply because it does not fit the present".

Someone once told me that I dwell too much on the past. I think they mistake my fondness for my past experiences and memories as a negative thing. For me they are what makes me who I am, and what we are.

An adaptation of an old grace, goes: "gather in the summer for the winter ahead", referring on this occasion to the harvest. But I've also heard it applied to taking photographs or gathering memories, and I have gathered a bumper crop of both over the years. So maybe some see me as dwelling in the past, but in actual fact I simply cherish the memories of good times . . . often.

They are, in some ways, all that remain.

I could go on forever, waxing lyrical on the subject, suffice to say we are a product of our experiences, our memories, and they are precious to me, to all of us.  Some are not so great memories, and some make us smile and laugh, but they are all important. More often than not they are made up of experiences with people, and yes, I do long to repeat them. The fact I often reminisce about past adventures and great experiences with the people that have been in my life, says a lot about how much I value those friendships and times.

So I think it is good to reflect. It helps us make new decisions. Imagine if science never considered what had gone before. Where would we be now? For me I can see where I went wrong over the past year and beyond, of where I put too much effort into one thing, only to end up with a poor result. In contrast I recall those times where a small amount of time and effort resulted in a strong, everlasting memory that will stay with me forever.

2013 for me? Two special memories: the first was my 50th birthday weekend and the second of course was the talk tour over the summer. Both were made all the more memorable because of one special person involved in both.

And so on to 2014. Some call them resolutions, I prefer to call them goals for the year ahead. I have a few (I love a list). Mostly though I can see that 2014 is going to bring change, and I'm not great with change.

Whatever happens it will be an experience to reflect on next new year.

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