“The good ole days” is an all-American phrase like hot dogs, apple pie, and the “Dukes of Hazzard.” I often wonder to which are these “good ole days” referring? High school? College? Why is our cultural default set to “reflect and regret” or to think the “grass is greener on the other side?”
“Being in the now is really hard, but it’s the only place that matters.” Mary Beth Williams said this in a New York Times “Modern Love” podcast last week and the phrase stuck with me so much I doodled it on a piece of watercolored scrap paper and hung it up over my desk as a perpetual visual reminder.
I strive to live in the now but a yearning for nostalgia sends me to revisit all my yesterdays. If we live entirely in the now, there is no room for concepts like hopes and dreams. Those notions appear to tease our minds when now may feel like a struggle.
I never think of high school or college as my good ole days; those cliches don’t fit my life. My good ole days are now. These are my favorite years of my life and they started when everything went to shit and I began all over again.
After I got married, I got pregnant, 9/11 shook our lives a few blocks from our apt, my husband lost his job, we bought a house, his grandfather died, my son was born, my husband became a control freak to compensate for everything else. He also entered a silent depression, which he later tried to play as a trump card in our separation, accusing me of leaving him while he was sick as if I was abandoning a cancer patient. We had a messy split, but I left his controlling ass and slowly started to discover the real me.
This is when I met my current husband, the love of my life, and he said, “Welcome to your good ole days.”
Now is all we have. Now is the only guarantee. Now is a privilege.