A long life brings many memories, good and bad. Some we cherish while we try to forget or ignore the others. This is why I awoke at 300 A.M. and could not go back to sleep. These were good memories but I prefer not to have them at three in the morning.
Aah, but we either swim in the memory pond or get up, make coffee and write about memories. I am amazed by the way our thoughts determine our days. I learned years ago that we can choose our thoughts…….and this was great to know. I had, however, wasted years of ‘living in the past’ and was bogged down by negative memories. At that time I had no idea how to crawl out of that ditch and go on with my life. The memory of those years is still disturbing but, actually, not as bad as the years in my future. It is good that we cannot know what the years might bring.
What we can realize are the lessons we should learn from our experiences. Just like our school years, life is another form of learning. Some details are not as important as others but these might still serve a purpose in our growth. At my age, I hope that I have learned what is most important in life. How did I learn this? I learned through my experiences, of course.
I have often described my earlier years as “book smart and life dumb”. Too often I saw traits in others that actually weren’t there. My Mama often told me, “Honey, if you are nice to people, they will be nice to you.” Sorry, Mama, that is not always true. I am sure she had her own learning experiences.
Sadly, when we believe that everyone is good – and honest — we might often appear more gullible to others. Actually, we are; we don’t harbor evil intentions and don’t expect to be on the receiving end of such. This is often the time when our ‘bad’ experiences happen, and bring along the negative memories that can bring us down…..IF we ALLOW it.
One of the important lessons we must learn is how to ditch those thoughts that cripple us. This is not learned overnight but over a period of time… and, like many lessons, it is learned by doing. The more often we toss out negative thoughts, the quicker we learn to move forward with our lives. We learn that we are not to allow anyone to determine our future. Whatever the years bring is the result of our decisions. These might be good or bad but we need to remember that we made the decision. The results come from those decisions, thus we are the ones who make some of the memories, whatever these are.
We might not be able to ‘forget’ these but learn to use what we learned from the experience to make our lives much better in the future.
83-year-old Lura Zerick is the mother of 5 adults, grandmother of 12 and great-grandmother of 7. She lives on six acres of woods in S.E. Alabama, near Geneva.
Lura has been involved in writing since 1965. Her freelance articles are published in regional and national magazines. She has authored five books: Who Do You Think You Are? (1989), The Golden Olden Days, (2002), Getting Older and Enjoying It!, 2004, (This book was one of three chosen across the USA to be featured in an article written by Donna Childress and published by the National Council on Aging in Washington, D.C. in the Fall/Winter issue of their publication, INNOVATIONS), River Villa, 2007 and The House of Esther, 2011.
As a survivor of years of domestic violence, Lura had no idea that her best and most rewarding years were in the future!