Things change quickly. I am not now talking about losing one’s hair or putting on weight. I’m talking about life in general. It’s impossible to keep pace with the overall speed of things. One day you’re starting your own business; the next, you’re leaning on a Rollator chatting with former clients. In the interim we’re intent upon accomplishing everything we can before it all ends. The speed of things is unsurpassable (if you’ll forgive the pun).
Recognition of detail has forever been an obsession of mine, one which frankly I acknowledge is tiresome for most people whether they’re watching me perform my tedious ritual or having to endure its accomplishment. The misfortune is that, when it comes to assessing things in life the details are so voluminous and the interpretations thereof so disparate that the scrutiny does little but drag one down and sideline the process of living. The analysis defeats the object.
As a result I have at last come to the conclusion that I must avoid backward glances on the whole. Aside from the logical imperative that we can do nothing to change the past, the less disconsolate absorption is simply to get on with living in spite of it all. This in turn means there is little value spending time evaluating whence one comes; instead the devotion should be whither one goes.
Now I admit this is hardly competitive to the daily ambition of most people, not because it is entirely superfluous but because so many of us have better things to do. I guess I do not, which is I suppose both good and bad. Having the privilege as I do of consigning myself to exhaustion of my petty undertakings is both imprisonment and liberty. Nonetheless I stand by the adoption of a forward regard. Both the past and the future are non-negotiable so I’ll take the chance. And just in case there are any crossed wires, by that I mean one must learn to disregard the drawback of dissection. The reason for that specific missive is that it can weigh down one’s appreciation of life. Whether we’re evaluating what we or others have done is seldom profitable. A more beneficial orientation is simply to make the best of what comes. Nor is this by any measure a less demanding impartiality.
There are no doubt psychiatrists who have endless derogations upon the worthiness of the past. But for those of us intent upon enriching the present, the past is little more than a static (and often stoic) wall hanging. In short, it is an impediment to our headway. Very often our reflections upon the past are hindrances. By contrast keeping one’s eyes on the road, looking straight ahead, is not only less distracting but also safer. And in the end it will get us to where we’re going without all the obstruction and obfuscation.
If I were to be forthright about this nonsense I confess it is in large part designed to improve my life by eliminating unproductive thoughts. Clearly there is a portion of almost anyone’s past which is both tolerable and happy; but such felicity is seldom engaged to advantage. Instead we routinely persist to relive what were the annoying features of our past. Forgive me. I’m thinking out loud!