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Avoid Being Too Attached To the Past

Updated on February 17, 2017

When I was a kid I remember adults around me being nostalgic about the 1970s or living in the Mid-West. As a native Californian, I did not understand the allure of the Mid-West, especially after spending a week in Kansas when the sun did not come out in the month of August. I was a Southern California girl who wanted my sunshiny mountain, and I missed it incredibly that week we were there. I enjoyed seeing family I had never met, but I wanted to see the sun too, and waiting a week was not my cup of tea. Now that I am older I realize that trip was actually a time in my life I should have enjoyed more because it was the last time I visited with my paternal grandpa, who was the one grandparent that ever really cared about me. I did enjoy my time, but his passing taught me to stop yearning for things in the past and enjoy living in the moment a bit more.

Yes, I may love the summer sunshine and I do not relish the cold winter rains, but I have learned to be a bit more joyful about living in the present, which brings me to something I have been thinking about a lot lately - people need to stop living in the past. With the economy tanking I hear so many people waxing nostalgic about the Reagan era, but even as a kid I really did not think he was the best president. People equate the fun movies and music videos of the 80s with the prosperity of the Regan era, but there were also a lot of things that were not good about that time either. I mean you can romanticize any era, but when people become fixated on the past I just think it is being a bit rosy about it. Have you ever noticed when people speak nostalgically of a time when they used to complain about? It is more productive to find happiness in the present and to seeking it out in the past.

The beauty of the modern world is being able to use digital cameras to take exquisite pictures.
The beauty of the modern world is being able to use digital cameras to take exquisite pictures.

Writing Online Is The Future

I love books and I read every day. Currently I am even writing a novel, but on the same token, I just do not agree with those who are opposed to all writing online. Even major newspapers and magazines are now writing and promoting articles on social media, so if they can do it, regular bloggers can certainly do it. I know some people think it is really not cool to promote your writing on social networking sites, and that old fashion writing is best. However, even old fashioned books were promoted back in the day, and most books have to be advertised to some extent. We all love to read books that we can hold in our hands, but why use the Internet to complain about writing on the Internet? I say let people who want to promote their writing online do it their way, and then focus on your own personal writing. We all need to give each other a bit more freedom to express ourselves creatively, and harsh critiques can detract from this.

Were People Really More Civil In The Past?

In certain situations, when it came to social etiquette people may have been more civil, but I really do not think allowing the poor to starve, or sending debtors to prison is all too kindly. Of course I always find it a bit far-fetched how people write online with nostalgia about an era when people lived in log cabins and did not have running water. Okay I have been camping and I know how to live in those conditions, but I actually know for a fact society has advanced in many ways, for the better, since that era. I might have enjoyed reading Pride and Prejudice a few years back, but I would never be nostalgic for an era when women had to marry well in order to secure their place in the world. Yearning for a time in the past is an exercise in futility, and a complainer button for those who think the sky is falling. There is so much more to the world than being negative and living with a perpetual rain cloud over your head. I remember I used to think there was really know good modern music, but then I became open-minded and discovered that are actually still good songs, but you have to look a little harder for these. Happiness is not about reliving the era of 1980s videos and Saturday morning cartoons, it is about not letting your present slip away.

Embrace The Beauty of The Future

It is now 2015, and I actually feel a zest for the future. I enjoy living in an era where we have digital cameras and do not have to pay several dollars just to have a few pictures developed. To me the digital camera is a liberating art form, and I am interested to see where the technology goes with this. When I turn eighty I refuse to be scared of the modern technology, and I will continue to be interested in the world around me. Embrace the current world and look for things to enjoy about it. You only have this one time to enjoy it, so use it well.


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    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I think that there are good things to reminiscence about in the past, but what I do not understand are the people who think we would be better off living in the era of Oliver Twist. I just prefer modern technology, although I need the forest and open spaces as well.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      3 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I guess we all need reminding sometime its good to be alive and we are lucky :) We should take the rose coloured specs off at least sometimes

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Hi Benoitsmidget,

      I can relate to what you are saying as I do like the music of the 60's-80's more than any era. There is some good music now, but it is hard to find it. I really believe there will be a re-emergence of excellent music in the years to come, people will just have to rediscover it.

    • Benoitsmidget profile image


      7 years ago from Boston

      I loved this hub, especially as I just wrote a hub about Nostalgia and the Days of Disco. I loved both the 70's and the 80's, I found them to be a more simpler time with better music and television. I didn't find greatness in the 90's but I try to see the best in the present and am looking forward to the future. You are so right that technology is a great thing and we have come so far to make today easier. I like to combine all the good of the past and mix it with my present. I'm hoping with the balance, the future will come with more greatness. Thanks for the perspective.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I appreciate the diverse range of comments shared here. I am not saying we can never appreciate the past, and of course I believe of the necessity of studying history so we can learn from our mistakes. I just think it is not to our benefit to act like certain eras in the past were so much better than today, or even tomorrow. We have to try and find constructive well being and cheer in the present, too.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for an interesting point of view.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      7 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      You are so right. We all have our memories and sometimes something little may trigger it. But I don't think you can live in the past. We have to enjoy the best of both or all of our life and make the most of every day.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      History can only be complete with it's direction toward the future,thanks for sharing,SweetiePie.;)

    • Judicastro profile image


      7 years ago from birmingham, Alabama

      Great hub! It is so true that if we are constantly living in the past or even in the future we miss today. I remember years ago thinking I'll be happy when......and listed that future event that I was sure to fulfill my every need. I realized that if I died that day that I would have lost the opportunity to appreciate what I had been given that very moment. Recently I have found myself thinking along those lines once again and your writing has been a good slap for me! Thanks for the reminder sweetie pie!

    • amybradley77 profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you very much for writing this. Now in my life, and others around me I love are struggling with this very issue, quite allot. Some people hold sentimental value to objects, from past memories, or collections of things they have kept over the years. Then others, just save it to be passed on when they may no longer be here with us, even if others really do not care for these things very much at all. Then there are the ones who do wish do be surrounded by such things, from past, present, and future they just want and need it all. Well, welcome to my world, since I know each of these persons very well, we are managing it all o.k. so far, just wish me lots of luck, I need it!!! Thank you again, I am trying to not hold on too strongly, and grow more now, as much as possible anyway. A.B.


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