Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What Memories Am I Making Now?

(Another re-run, one from a few years ago, one I recall sometimes.)

Magazines like Reminisce or Good Old Days are filled with childhood memories. I take notes, albeit mental ones, of what these now-grown children remember from years long gone. Funny how you can sit at a table with a cup of coffee and relive a day of someone's life all over again, even if that day happened before you were even born.

Sometimes I go back into my own childhood and relive a memory. I spend time with the good ones and tend to leave the bad ones alone, perhaps believing they will die from neglect.

But the pleasant memories make me smile and they make me wonder, "How am I spending my adult life? What memories am I making now?"

I have a friend I've known more than fourteen years--sweetest person on Earth. But every time I've talked with her she's spent half of our conversations saying she hates her job. She's afraid to look for another career so she stays in the same one, year after year. Her adult children make her crazy and sad with the choices they make and she has an emotional (and physical) war going on with her old house. And more.

She does have a terrific husband. And I try to bring a little happiness into her days, but there's only so much another person can do. So I watch her spending her years like money--using it up on stressful, worried days, one after another.

And that is the life she is remembering.

It takes a lot of letting go to have a happy life. Letting go of fear, of perfectionism, of believing things must always be one certain way... and a certain releasing of our adult children as they live their own lives and learn from their own mistakes.

It takes letting go of guilt and condemnation. If I am always a guilt-ridden, sin-conscious mess, I will never be filled with joy. They cannot exist in the same place at the same time. A joyful life requires that everyday we leave our sins at Jesus' feet--and then toddle forward as a baby with her fingers squeezing, even crunching those of Someone who walks with ease.

When I look back at my life, I want to remember reading books on quiet afternoons. And sitting on my husband's lap in the recliner. And laughing with my daughter in the kitchen or chasing her cats with the cat-nip mouse. I want to recall kindnesses both received and given. And painting my walls while Leave It To Beaver blared on the tv. And looking at those walls and these rooms by lamplight at night while thinking, "Heaven must be pretty great if it's going to beat this."

My days are a gift and they are flying. Each year passes more quickly than the one before.

May I always spend my days wisely and with a whole lot of joy mixed-in.

The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.
-Martha Washington

"I have yet to find that God ever uses a man that is all the time looking on the dark side...and is discouraged and cast down...There is no life in (him). Now if we are going to succeed we have got to be of good courage, and the moment we get out eyes on God and remember who He is...then it is that we will have courage given us." ...D. L. Moody


Anonymous said...

Your story reminds me of a really great Dolly Parton song called "Better Get to Livin". Here's an exert,
"A girlfriend came to my house
Started cryin' on my shoulder Sunday evening
She was spinnin' such a sad tale
I could not believe the yarn that she was weavin'
So negative the words she had to say
I said if I had a violin I'd play.

I said you'd better get to livin', givin'
Be willing and forgivin'
Cause all healing has to start with you
You better stop whining, pining
Get your dreams in line
And then just shine, design, refine
Until they come true
And you better get to livin'."

Anonymous said...

One more thing.
I love what you said about memories.
It's so true.
I was just thinking about that recently.
You never know which one will stick so it's best to make'em good.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Love this post!

One of the things that struck me about my adult daughter's memories of home was how they were often of little things.

Not often about big holidays are such but those times I had no idea we were building memories.

Every day really is important.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Brenda's right, every moment is important. There's a quote somewhere about how each moment of our life is God's gift to us and that's why it's called "the present". The present is the moment when time touches eternity. We're meant to be there and awake and aware. We're meant to find the good!

I like your post, Debra, and your philosophy toward life, your Glad One philosophy.

Cindy Swanson said...

Beautifully said...and so true! This has been a great reminder to me that life is a gift and we need to focus on the good things!

Donetta said...

Today I heard it said about how it is not that God was or has been or will be...it is that he IS>>>I AM in this moment HE IS

oma aka meme said...

when papa hubby and I were on his cancer journey- we decided to make memories together so when he went home to the Lord - he would something to leave me for the lonely days- we cried and laughed and lived one day at a time and made memories- we knew the outcome was death so we decided to live all the days that were left- soon I will share some of those memories- right now- they are bitter sweet- huggs from Meme