What Is The Ghost of Xmas Past?

I don’t have much time to live in the past when I’m living in the moment. Growing up, I hated to watch the older people in my life cry in their beer over the past and whine about how much today sucks. I didn’t understand . . . especially since I was standing right there.

Don’t get me wrong, I love remembering the past. I live in the house my grandpa built. I didn’t have the opportunity to get to know him since he died when I was almost 2, but I love hearing my parent’s memories of him. I’m living on his property in the house that he built when my mom was a teenager, so that his family would always have a home. It’s a great way to remember something we don’t have anymore.

Feeling Nostalgic

Most of my memories are vivid because I was living in the moment and actively storing them in my heart and in my memory banks. I wanted to fully experience it right then and always remember it. And I often go back in my mind and re-experience those moments and it’s awesome.

I’ve never actually longed to go back, or felt such a strong sense of loss that I desired a time machine. BUT these past couple of months I have been haunted by strange feelings of nostalgia. It’s not that awesome. Or is it? 

Nostalgia – a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition.

Like when a child becomes a teenager. It’s beautiful to watch and see who they’re becoming, but at the same time I experience loss because I’ll never be able to be with him as a little child anymore.

To be able to hold him and watch him experience everything for the first time. I can go back anytime and experience my vivid memories and photos/videos but now, in the moment that time is gone forever.

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I recently heard from a friend I haven’t seen in 9 years. We’ve known each other for 22 years and she sent me a picture of her wearing these xmas earrings I made for her in the 6th grade. I had completely forgotten about them until I saw them in that pic and they triggered so many memories that I haven’t thought of in a long time. 

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The earrings 

Photos and Memories

It made me wonder about these moments we experience and the effect photography has on them. Some people say that you’re not really living in the moment when you’re so concerned about taking a picture. It’s possible to do both. I’ve managed to photograph moments with my camera and my mind . . . and sometimes photos will trigger memories so strongly that it becomes easier to remember.

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Rd Trip through Louisiana

What about in psychology where studies show that memories aren’t really that accurate? Humans tend to remember the past better than it actually was. Or what about when memories have been tainted by time and discussion?

Maybe that’s why they cry in their beer and long for that old relationship or wish their children were young again. Maybe the changes or lack of changes a person has made, creates a rift in relationships and makes you feel an unreasonable longing for the past.

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Box of Photos

I guess a healthy dose of nostalgia isn’t so bad. The passage of time exists and we gotta embrace it and enjoy it. Like that Doris Day song says, Que Sera Sera, whatever will be will be.

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Disney Version

If we fully embrace the good, the bad, the neutral, the everyday we can experience life in it’s rawest and purest form. How about you . . . are you being haunted by the ghost of xmas past? Maybe it’s not a ghost at all . . . maybe it’s just a little bit of wisdom about life.

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Just Breathe – Willie and Lukas Nelson

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For a few weeks YouTube has been suggesting this Willie and Lukas Nelson cover so persistently I finally gave it a listen. I kept scrolling past it cuz I just wasn’t in a Willie mood but I’m really glad I finally got so curious that I had to click on it.

Willie and his son harmonize so well together. I loved the scenes of them singing together in the bar. I couldn’t help but think of my own Dad, who I’m blessed to know. Then I started thinking of everyone else in my life that I feel so blessed to know.

Then these lyrics stood out reminding me of the ones I miss who unfortunately aren’t in my life anymore . . . or at least for a short time I hope.

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh if I didn’t, I’m a fool you see
No one knows this more than me

Read more: Pearl Jam – Just Breathe Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Life seems long but we really have such a short time with the people we love to enjoy the world God has given us. I think it’s important that we live in the moment and really enjoy our time with our loved ones. Don’t waste time fighting about silly stuff. Just be there for each other in the good times and bad times, cuz Love Never Fails.

Check out this behind the scenes video of them talking about their family being together while working on this beautiful song.

This song was actually written by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. Here they are performing at Austin City Limits in 2009.  Listen for the violin . . . it’s so pretty and complements his voice nicely.

Both versions are touching and beautiful so I hope you check them out. Don’t just scroll past them like me . . . the Internet might not choose to be as pushy with you on this particular song.