Friday, May 8, 2009

:: Past, Present, Future ::

I was talking with a friend the other day, and she mentioned that her husband's brain lives in the past. He cherishes old memories. I understood what she meant, because I know him and it made sense. Then I realized that her brain lives in the future! And I said it too, just like that.

It got me to thinking that everyone's brain lives somewhere in time, and while for most people it's a bit of a mix, for others it's more one-sided.

Some people live in the past, and revel in old memories. They love nothing better than to sit around reminiscing and having a good old Glory Days time. And while I am definitely guilty of this quite often, I know that it can quickly turn into a black hole from the past, with me wondering what I could have done differently.

Still others live for the present. Nothing matters except right now, and their plans change in an instant or on a whim. These people are the most fun to have around. They always think of the best thing to do to enjoy right now. Many meditation practices teach us to keep our minds in the present, which I think can be extremely helpful for training the mind and dealing with stress on an immediate level. But in terms of one's whole life, I think it's a bit short-sighted to think about things only in the present.

Dexter lives in the present. Napping and being fed instantly
are high on his list of priorities.

Then there are those who live for the future. These folks are always on the move. They always have another project to start, and another idea to put into motion. These people are excellent motivators (especially for lazy-asses like me.) But if you live too far in the future you forget about those in the present around you, right now. And you can't learn from the past.

Now, like most people, I am a mix of all three of these things. And so is Spencer. In fact, I think we're pretty matchy in this area of life, and that's one of the reasons why we get along so well (most of the time, haha.)

I love looking at old photo albums, and reminiscing about my past. My childhood and teenage years were very important to me, and I think about them often. I had a relatively happy childhood, and an eventful and lesson-filled teenage-hood. It's so fun when I can get together with my family and old friends and watch old home movies or look at old photos together. And often my dreams are filled with scenes, people, and situations from my past. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I don't want to let those dreams go; and my morning is a fog of trying hard to remember and keep it all.

I don't think Spencer has quite the same level of nostalgia as I do, but he's pretty close. He also loves old photos; he just doesn't have as many as I do. And his teenage years are important to him. He had a lot of fun and a lot of freedom, and also loves to reminisce about them.

And since meeting Spence, I live a lot more in the present. We can change our day's plans at a moment's notice and go oyster-hunting or looking for an oven element. We both love to sit around on Sundays and do diddly. We enjoy our time together, even if we're doing nothing.

And the Sparrow has taught me this as well; I cherish every moment of his baby-hood. He will only be a baby once, and I'm in no hurry for it to be over. I love to take time over mundane tasks with him, even changing his diaper. I like to look in his eyes and connect with him in the present. I like to feed him his meals because for the rest of his life he will feed himself. He may not be an only child forever, and I may not have as much time on my hands as I do now. And I want this time to be special for him, because it was for me and for Spencer. Right now is his past, and I want him to have fond memories with us.

The Sparrow contemplates the future in a gauzy glow, where Mummy will surely cut off his hair.

And honestly, right now I don't think about the future very much. I don't make grandiose plans. I'm just happy that I get to see my family and friends (I mean friend; who am I kidding?) on the long weekend. I think of the future in vague and fuzzy terms. I think that part of this is that I have so little free time right now. I would love to whip out the sewing machine and start some new projects, or to get out in the garden and make something beautiful. But I know I have 13,946 other things to do instead. And the other reason is that having a child who is born different from the others, and so different from my basic expectations, has taught me that you never know what the future holds.

So I'm not thinking of the future too much right now. In my life, when I have focused and become obsessed with the future, it has done me little good. And done others little good. For now I try to think of the future in a practical way. How can I plan for the future in an intelligent and helpful way?

It makes me wonder how Liam will think about all this when he's older. Will he be like Spencer and me, and have a little mix? Something tells me he probably will. Judging from his present disposition, he's not going to be a go-getter for the future. He'll most likely be content to chill with like-minded people and enjoy the present, as long as there's food. And we'll see if he likes reminiscing. Hopefully we're giving him a childhood worth remembering.

What about you? Past, Present, or Future?

" . . . I hope when I get old
I don't sit around thinking about it
But I probably will
Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture
A little of the glory of,
Well time slips away
And leaves you with nothing mister but
Boring stories of glory days . . ."
-the Boss


Anonymous said...

You have more than one friend, shit snout.

Chelsea said...

Only one who would call me shit snout, though. <3