As you look back on your life and recall your happiest periods, did you in those times realize they were to be your “good old days?” Probably not – and let’s change that.
What have been some of the happiest periods of your life?
As I look back on my own life, a few different periods come to mind.
There were my later high school years when I hung around with two girls who made me laugh constantly, and then fell in love with a boy for the first time.
There were my college years when I had a wonderfully tight-knit circle of musician friends at the Univ. of Cincinnati Conservatory and my friend Ryan and I would often go to the football stadium at 3 a.m. when the Saturday night party had died down and just lay in the grass talking and looking up at the stars until the sun came up.
There were my early NYC years – particularly those summer evenings in my mid-twenties when I’d walk out of my Harlem apartment into the warm summer night air, hop on the subway, and ride down to the Village to meet up with friends at a jazz show. There was a freedom and sense of possibility I felt on those nights that I’d never known before.
And then there are my past few years: waking up each morning in a condo that I’ve made into one of my favorite places in the world, playing with my dog and best friend, spending my days doing fun things I love and my evenings with a family that’s close by and the best friends in the world.
A few years back, I download an app created by philosopher and neuroscientist Sam Harris called Waking Up, designed to help one build a daily meditation practice. While my meditation practice fell by the wayside the day my puppy came home (understandably I think), what I enjoyed most about the app was the collection of talks with all sorts of teachers and academics. I listened to one such talk with a self-proclaimed Stoic named William B. Irvine. He had an episode during which he talked about the concept that “these are the good old days,” and it resonated with me deeply.
So now, as I look back on the times I shared at the beginning of this blog, I see there is a clear difference between the last one (in essence my current life) and the times that came before. The difference is this:
My happiest younger days flew by in the blink of an eye without my realizing just how special they really were, whereas now, I know I’m living what will someday be my “good old days” so I’m devoted to being present in the here and now and enjoying these days as much as I can while they’re still here.
It’s not a matter of if your current days will someday be your “good old days” – it’s only a matter of when.
So do yourself a favor, will you? Enjoy them while they’re still here <3