The Life of Bon: The Good Old Days

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The Good Old Days



"If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you will look forward, do so prayerfully.  But the wisest course would be to be present in the present gratefully." -Maya Angelou


On Father's days my dad used to ask all of us kids one thing that we thought he could "do better" in the coming year.  Being the young kid full of insight and wisdom that I was I usually blurted out such things as "go camping more with me!" or "stop being so grumpy!"  I remember one year, though, during the onslaught of teenage angst, I had something serious I needed to tell the man.  By now, it was just me and my little sister at home.  My six older siblings (yes, six!) had grown, graduated, and were now living elsewhere, anxiously engaged in their own lives.  Compared to having eight children running amuck  I know the house felt quiet and sometimes lonely to my folks.  They were staring empty nesting down the throat, and were dreading what was to come.

It was during this stage of life that my dad started to often refer to "the good old days"- when all of his kids were living at home.  He would mention playing "rabbits" out in the backyard with all of us or I'd catch him watching old home videos or looking sadly at all the bikes and toys and bedrooms that went unused day after day. And he'd say softly, "Ah, those were the good old days."

Stangely, this hurt my feelings.  Many of the "good old days" that my dad was referring to I couldn't even remember.  I wasn't alive yet, or if I was, I was too little at the time to recall any of it.  Heck, I had just celebrated my sixth birthday when my oldest sister left for college. My young memory had no idea what it was like to live with all of my siblings at home.  There were zero memories of the grand canyon, or our old house, or the van we drove to California to visit my mom's family twice a year.  These were my parents' and my siblings' memories, not mine.  Somehow I felt that because I had come near the end of the pack I had missed out on the best my family had to offer.  My "good old days" were right then- the nephews coming to visit, my sister and I going to dinner with just my parents, listening to my dad talk excitedly about the World Series.  Why didn't my dad look so fondly at these years?  That moment?  That one right then.  With me.

And so, when Father's day rolled around, I was locked and loaded.  Ready  to go.  When my dad asked what he could do better, I had my speech already prepared.  I asked him if he could not miss the "good old days" so much.  And maybe to find a little bit of "good" and a dash of "old" in the days we were living right then and there.

This seemed to touch my dad.

Told you I was full of insight and wisdom as a 15 year old.  

From then on, my dad made constant references to our current "good old days".  Right there.  He made sure I knew that he would look back on this time fondly.  I know he felt bad, but, heck, I'd even venture to say the poor old man over did it.  

I helped him in his doctor's office, "Thanks, Bopper.  These are the good old days, aren't they?"  
I hopelessly tried to maneuver a stick shift, "Welp.  These are the good old days, right?" 
We went to Sherald's Burger Bar for shakes when my mom was out of town, "I am just loving these good old days!"

But the message stuck.  We were living the good old days.  That exact moment.  It wasn't ten years ago. It wasn't the backyard full of kids, the past house we lived in, the old family vacations.  For me, it wasn't my college years that loomed ahead.  It wasn't the future mission, the future marriage, the future babies.  The good old days were right that moment.

Yesterday I went to hear Dave Rozowsky, a comedy and improv genius, speak.  He talked about "being present."  About being right there in the moment.  He asked if when we take a shower we are really taking a shower.  Or are we already getting dressed, grabbing breakfast, in the car?  When we are driving to work are we really driving to work?  Or are we already at work?   I thought about my life right now.  Am I present?  Hubs and I have lots of big changes coming up ahead in our life... am I already at those big changes?  Or am I still here?  Right now.  Today.  Present in this very moment.

Hubs and Rosowsky.  Do they look like long lost lovers or what?

And then it hit me.  What Dave Rozowsky was telling me essentially was what 15 year old Bon and my dad had been trying so hard to prove all those years ago.  That today is the "good old days".  To enjoy this day, this stage of life, this emotion, this work place, this home, this age, this body, this haircut, this outfit, this song on the radio.  Because tomorrow it'll be different.

I don't know about you.  But I am loving the "good old days".

Hubs and I living up our good old days Monday night at the Jazz game. 
We lost by one at the last second.
It's all good.


31 comments:

  1. This is such a sweet heartfelt post. It really made me stop and think. Thanks Bon!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this post! It has got me wondering too....

    ReplyDelete
  3. I absolutely love this.

    I try so hard to live in the moment, but it's so much easier on the days when something exciting is happening.
    But this: "He asked if when we take a shower we are really taking a shower. Or are we already getting dressed, grabbing breakfast, in the car?"
    Holy crap.

    It really put it all into perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mallory took the words right out of my mouth! I LOVE this post. Easily one of my top three faves from you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love this! I was feeling mopey and now I'm feeling grateful! I love remembering old perfect moments, but people definitely need to learn to enjoy the ones that are happening as they happen! Great post Bon x

    ReplyDelete
  6. You look so pretty in that picture missy!

    ReplyDelete
  7. yep.. this is my favorite post you've ever done! love it!

    xo, bri.

    brielleandscott.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love this post! :)
    I think it's so easy to always be looking at the times ahead. I know hubs and I are always looking forward to having our own house, being in our careers, having our kids but when we look back, we'll really appreciate the times we counted out a change jar to be able to go on a date (and hey, GREAT thing to tell our kids: "You should appreciate we can take you to dinner! Back in the day, we counted our piggybank to go to dinner!"). Why not enjoy that time now? :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. This was such a beautiful post. Perfectly timed too as I was just talking to my husband about this tonight!

    Xo, B
    Brooklynstateofmindblog.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have learned this lesson recently. Well, I guess I'm still in the process!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great post! I love the perspective. I'm always looking to the future, living in the thought of what will come next. Thank goodness for my hubby who reminds me that i'm living TODAY!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love it! Never knew that story about Dad, but I can totally hear him saying it. Miss him so much.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Amen to this post sista! I am 36 weeks preggo (on saturday) and I am not living in the present! I am so excited for whats to come that I am not enjoying my last month of pregnancy, like i need to be, and how I have always wanted to! I never wanted to be "that one" that couldnt wait for her kid to pop out of her. This is so true, and in every aspect of my life! Part pregnancy brain but mostly me not being present, I just can't concentrate I am always on the next step. I wish I could hang this up everywhere I go for a reminder to live in the present! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. This post is very enlightening. Thank you for the reminder!

    ReplyDelete
  15. What an awesome and very timely reminder. Thanks, Bonnie!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Of course this made me tear up - of course! Seriously though, such a great message. Thanks for the reminder :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I just love your posts and this one did not disappoint. I need to remember that this is the good ol days more.

    ReplyDelete
  18. this is so spot on. as the youngest of 5 girls, and being 6.5 years younger than the next sister older than me....i often felt like i missed out on the 'good old days' too. i don't remember much of my sisters living at home, and what i do remember, wasn't the greatest because i was young enough to just be annoying to my teenage sisters still at home. but you're so right. living in the now is all we have. thank you for this :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a beautiful post! I've missed out on too many good moments because I wasn't present to miss any more. I'm all about living in the moment now!

    ReplyDelete
  20. what a good post. this is something that is really hard for me because I am always looking ahead to the next thing, even little things like what I'm doing after work, or after my walk, or big things too. my husband is really good at living in the moment and I am trying to do a better job at that!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I loved this post. At my house we have a saying when we start to stress about the future or reminense to much on the past "Deep breath. Live in the now". It's an amazing reminder. Be present!

    ReplyDelete
  22. first off... touching story with your pops. I love that tradition on father's day of him asking what he can do better as a dad. so funny how our dads and grandpas always love to talk about the good ol' days! wise little girl at 15 knew how to flip that really quick!

    great message friend... live in the present and learn from our past ;)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Beautiful post! This is one of my favourites from you :)

    Lindsay

    www.knowbetternow.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love this post, I love that quote up top, I love this way of thinking and I so do adore you :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Living in the Present and being thankful for today = Priceless :) Love it! Happy Thursday Xo

    ReplyDelete
  26. You'd love improv classes. They're about being present and coming from a place of "yes" all the time.

    So yes, I am currently living my "good old days" right now riding the funemployment train. Meanwhile how bout that giveaway? The gift that keeps on giving if I've ever seen one.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Love this. I am constantly trying to fast forward my life two years forward!
    Great post :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is perfect, and something I need to remind myself of constantly.

    ReplyDelete