The Good Old Days--Or Were They Really?
“I spent so much of my time here at Dunder Mifflin, thinking about my old pals. My college a cappella group. The weird thing is, now I’m exactly where I wanna be, I got my dream job at Cornell, and I’m still just thinking about my old pals. Only now they’re the ones I made here. I wish there was way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”
-Andy Bernard, The Office
Though the NBC series The Office may not be entirely topical – this particular episode aired over six months ago – I always thought this quote was very timely. Or at least, it ought to be.
We live in a very future-oriented society, and though it’s admirable to have goals and plans, sometimes they can force us to stop living in the present, and instead give us a kind of tunnel vision of the future. From IRAs and savings accounts to wedding plans – according to a graph from Wedding Paper Divas, most couples are engaged for more than a year - there’s always something more we’re reaching for, something else we’re looking forward to. When I was in college it was a degree. Now that I have that degree, it’s a job. Once I get a job, it’ll be a house. But once I get a house and have some kids, I know I’m going to miss my college days, which, upon looking back on them, will seem so carefree. But they weren’t. I can’t tell you how many nights I stressed over an upcoming exam or a huge presentation. Those days weren’t that good. And these days aren’t that bad.
You’ve heard it again and again – cherish the moment, live in the present, focus on today – but what does that really mean? Well, instead of lingering on the past, or ‘the good old days,’ picture yourself in the future. Not what you hope to accomplish, or what you’re striving to achieve, but just living. Picture yourself ten years from now and think, what am I going to miss about today? This year? My twenties? It shouldn’t take long to come up with an answer – there’s going to be something, or someone – you’ll miss. And when it does come to you, cherish it. Revel in it. And just live it.
Wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them? There is a way. It’s called me telling you. These are the good old days. This right here. This is your life, girl. It may not be the perfect life (how boring would that be), but it’s yours. Fix what needs to be fixed, make the changes you want to make, and leave alone what ought to be left alone. And just enjoy life. Enjoy today. Because it’s already tomorrow in Australia.