From time to time, often with the first warm breezes of spring, nostalgia hits me like a splash of sweet Cherry Kool-Aid. An irrepressible yearning takes hold and won’t let go. Too often, the emotion accompanying my reminiscence involves a melancholic longing for days gone by.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer not to get lost in melancholia, because good memories only require a change in focus. We can turn it around by writing a fun list of experiences missed from the past that remind us how the simple things can bring about inexplicable happiness, laughter (sometimes hysterics), and a deep sense of joy and contentment.
Following is a list I hope inspires you to draw upon your own rich well of memories of favorite childhood memories:
- Homemade popsicles and freezies like Mom made for us and the neighbor kids
- Dad’s Old Spice cologne wafting down the hallway after a shower
- Enjoying all-night gab-fests with my best friend in her parent’s camper on sleep-overs
- Fast rides down beautiful country roads in a muscle car with all the windows rolled down
- Eating outside with the whole family, with the savory scents of BBQ wafting in the air
- Honeycomb candy from the local convenience store
- The first heady scents of lilacs floating through the air
- Tanning in the backyard with a giant stack of books and magazines
- Walking home on a hot summer’s night from the movie theatre
- Discovering new books and fresh inspiration at the local library
- Eating sun warmed, oily potato chips at the lake, with waves lapping gently ashore
- Listening to Dad cackle mischievously (and contagiously)
- Snuggling up to Mom on the sofa to watch a good movie
- Nuzzling the fuzzy head of my dog
- Kissing outside, under a night full of stars, lost in sensuality
- Dancing non-stop at the clubs until closing time
- Watching northern sunsets – brilliant and pink-fired
- Eating fresh peas and carrots dug out of my parents garden
- Mom’s soup and sandwich lunches that brought together family and friends
- My peaceful blue and white bedroom
- The smoky scent of campfire mingled with sticky toasted marshmallows
So, how can you bring your nostalgic memories back to life? Don’t judge right/wrong, good/bad. To paraphrase a line out of a Shakespeare play, “Nothing is good or bad, only thinking makes it so” are words to live by. Who cares if corn pops or burnt marshmallows aren’t good for you? Your spirit, heart, and taste buds may feel differently. Get creative and take action. Live life to the fullest, salt and peppering your todays with lovely experiences of yesterday that remind you how good it feels to be alive!
…and cheers to my Mom who created so many of my happy notalgic memories!