Reminiscing in Reverse

59659_4801529402361_892818296_nThe other day, I was watching two colleagues arrive at my door with camera equipment, backdrops, umbrella lights and extra clothing changes. And, I was struck with an odd little thought … We are making history.

No, not the sort of history that makes weary travelers fly thousands of miles to sit in the very pub that Shakespeare frequented or to visit the former home of Jane Austen … a personal history.

I remember experiences from my past that were wonderful, ones that I wish I could revisit for a day, ones that I wish I could remember more clearly … ones that can never come again. Either because I am no longer a child, the place no longer exists or some of the people are no longer alive. Too bad I didn’t take the time to drink in the experience at the time – the folly of youth.

So now, when I see my colleagues arrive so that we can begin filming an online course we are creating, or when I’m sitting on a beach blanket enjoying homemade brunch with friends on Anna Maria Island, or – as in the photo above – watching a Key West sunset the day after the Spaniard proposed to me, I absorb as much of these moments as I possibly can. It’s as if I’m reminiscing in reverse, and a small part of me is twenty years in the future looking back and smiling at what I looked like before my hair turned gray, laughing at insecurities that don’t seem to matter anymore, and spending time with friends who may now live in different parts of the world. The Future Me recognizes its significance, and she sends a message to the Present Me, reminding me to take nothing for granted.

I watch the events around me unfold with a profound sense of wonder and nostalgia. And, if I ever lose that sense of wonder, if I ever begin to take my life for granted, all I have to do is remember a moment from my past that will never be again. It jars me into a realization that this moment is magical and should be revered. Once I recognize this, there is nothing but gratitude.

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