Reconnecting to the Past

This year has been hard enough on the face of it, but for some reason I have come up with a number of ways to make it even harder on myself. This wasn't really intentional; most bad habits aren't.

Some part of my mind has decided that “the past” has nothing to teach me, because nobody else in my lifetime has had to deal with all of this.

But that's a very myopic view. True, this is the first worldwide pandemic in living memory, but not the first one in our history. My parents had to live with a very different looming threat: that of sudden, unexplained nuclear annihilation. We look back on the cold war era with a little bit of amusement now, but that's because we know how it “ended”, even though it hasn't.

And worse than that, I've been cutting myself off from comforts; mostly, again, unconsciously. I think about watching a movie or reading a book and thinking “but how can that make me feel better if it doesn't directly address our current problems?” and the answer, of course is that it doesn't address our current problems. I'm sheltering in place, I'm wearing a mask when I go shopping, I've voted, I'm doing all I can to be a good neighbor and keep my family and community safe. It's okay to take my brain off the hook once in a while and think about things that aren't the here and now.

So I'm trying to let myself listen to more old music, watch TV shows from happier times (or at least shows that portray the past as a happier time) and let my mind take some refuge from the current world. The world will still be there with all its attendant problems when I get back, I can take a little break.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting 100 Days To Offload.

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