My 84-year-old father is a great storyteller. He always loves the opportunity to share an exciting experience from years past. When he’s not telling me one of his stories, he sometimes says, “Barrett, these are your halcyon days. Things aren’t always going to be this good.”
I’m never quite sure what his point is other than life throws you curve balls. So, you should make sure to pay attention to the moments when you’re on a happy straightaway.
I suppose it’s a warning… and a compliment… all baked together.
I’ve been around the block a few times myself. So, I’m probably fooling myself if I don’t admit to knowing exactly what he’s talking about.
I think the lesson is to make darn sure to remember the good times, because they were indeed good. It’s easy to forget that with the murky complexities that the future inevitably brings.
The future often clouds the past in some way. Coloring it a new shade.
Of course, one way to help keep the past straight is to take a photo or a video of a particular moment or series of moments. That’s not rocket science.
Organizing and keeping track of those digital memories over a period of years is something of a harder lift.
(You’ve seen me stress over this challenge before.)
But at the end of the day, your digital memories are mere fragments… not entire experiences. And they reflect a specific editorial point of view that led to their creation. They serve as ‘commercials’ for your life rather than objective and complete ‘documentaries.’
The Good Old Days
You’ve got to be deliberate and pay attention to your life as it unfolds. And acknowledge life’s many chapters in larger chunks of time. Nobody is going to do that for you.
(Unless someone is writing your biography.)
It’s your job to remember your story. So, do whatever it takes to recall it properly.
(Take some notes!)
And don’t forget to acknowledge all of the people who are on the journey with you.
(They share in your story, and you share in theirs.)
Tell Your Story Now!
Yes, it’s important to recognize the good times when they’re happening. But it’s equally essential to look back and give the past a proper nod, now and again.
And keep your ongoing narrative clear and strong as it spans the decades.
It’s your life… and your story. It’s your job to keep it straight.
And your responsibility to tell it.