I truly do not know how to live in the past, save for my loving and happy memories and the lessons I learned along the way. I review these in my mind when I am reminded. Other than that, I have no time to waste on the past.
I am filled to the brim with my daily life. As I often say, “I live a razzle, dazzle lifestyle and I like it… just fine.”
Oh, sure, I get frazzled, too. However, on hectic days I tell myself, “Better to be frazzled than sitting around thinking about what was.”
The reason you might live in the past is very simple: You are lost. You are lacking motivation. You don’t know how to make daily goals or even dreams. So, you revert to your memories and tell stories about what was. Or, you sit and daydream about this, that and the other. Or, perhaps you feel sorry for yourself asking, “Why can’t the present be like my past?”
Your present can be better than the good ole days, but you must have a plan like you did the first half of your life. The first half of your life your plan was laid out. You went to school, met a guy, got married, possibly had a career, had a family, bought a home, raised your children, did volunteering and now… what is the plan? Maybe it’s time to stop living in the past.
You must say to yourself, “I am not over the hill. I have time to climb a new hill. I will not waste my time or energy living in my past, wishing I could turn back the time. I will look eagerly with some natural trepidation to the future.” Here were my five ways to not allow my past to become my present.
I became motivated to live in the present and not dwell on what once was by designing a new plan for this stage of my life. This is what my plan became.
I emotionally and physically felt the need to find a new purpose in life. I wanted to feel passionate about a project, a project that was mine.
I had been ill, surviving cancer, and so I decided I would discipline myself to eat healthy and work out. This was vital.
I am a loner and yet I enjoy people. I know it seems contradictory, so I decided I wanted to stay connected with special like-minded women who I call girlfriends.
I would also stay connected with my scattered family living in seven different states. I would try and be the best mother and grandmother to our children and our 24 grandchildren. I would be a role model for the rest of my life.
And lastly, I would not do what I did in the past. A new chapter awaited me.
That was my plan and I am fulfilling all five of my goals. It was not easy. Nothing that has real meaning is easy.
I know a person who lives in the past. It is one of my meaningful relationships. So, I am extremely aware of the pitfalls. If you have any of these signs, I think you are suffering from an addiction to what was… your past. Here are the signs.
First, you constantly tell stories about your past. Second, you don’t plan for a better today. Also, you have very few, if any, relationships with interesting people. Next, you are sure your future will never reach the pinnacle of your past. You feel you have peaked. Finally, you are stuck. Not a good excuse! You have given up and decided to live in the past.
I think you must approach your 60s and beyond with discipline because nothing good in life happens by accident. You have to make a plan and then work your plan.
I am a proponent of keeping a personal journal for three months. This is a great start in forming your plan. You are expressing your personal thoughts and you are enforcing self-discipline; a discipline you will surely need as you seek an interesting purpose in your life.
I never missed a day of journaling even though my husband and I were traveling. I programmed my Dropbox and wrote daily… on airplanes, hotel rooms, automobiles and in several different countries. I did not miss a day.
Through journaling I found a new purpose and passion in my website. Now, I have no time to live in the past because the present is a frantic, fun whirlwind of friends and new experiences. I live in the present and await tomorrow with enthusiasm. This present-day mindset has become my greatest gift.
Do you sometimes find yourself dwelling on the past? Or, do you live in the present? What are your goals for your 60s? What will you do with your tomorrows? Please join the conversation.