I am, admittedly, someone who likes to look back at things. For whatever reason, I have always been that way. When it comes to my life, I have been so fortunate to have had so many great “moments” that it is hard NOT to look back. Whether it’s my high school years, playing ball with my friends at “The Square” in Philo or my college days at Ohio University, I have nothing but great memories. Living in Dayton with my buddy Newman, working at the local affiliate there and then getting a job in Cincinnati where I would meet my wife and settle down. Our wedding day and the following honeymoon were the best days of my life. The day we moved into our new home. The day we had our first child. The holidays with family. The birth of my daughter. On & on…memory after memory…my life has been, without a doubt, a blessed one. But when is it time to look ahead? When do you put those wonderful memories aside and look to the future with the bright sun shining in your face and the future a welcome beam of light that can take you anywhere?
When is it time to put the past in the past?
Or…is it ALWAYS a part of me?
Some say I’m a nostalgic person and I’m okay with being that way. I don’t let my past get in the way of my future…I don’t think. I’m still a forward thinker, trying to plan for what lies ahead. But on occasion I enjoy daydreaming about my life and, for me, thinking about what great things have already happened to me gives me hope for an even brighter future. Without my past being what it was, my future would be cloudy and uncertain. But because of my family and the friends I have and the people I know, all who have shared wonderful times with me, my future will ALWAYS look bright. I don’t fear the future even though I don’t know what’s ahead. But I love to remember all the great times that shaped who I am and that gives me courage to face such an uncertain future.
Our lives are in flux. I see it everywhere. People are angry, scared, sick, spent with trying to keep up. Our culture has moved so fast into the future that we can only wonder where we will be in another 10 years. I also wonder. I have a 10-year old and an 8-year old. The thought of seeing them grow up and moving on is kind of horrifying for me. I know it’s going to happen and I know I will be so amazingly proud of them no matter what they do. But for me…thinking about THAT future isn’t something I enjoy doing. I like my kids NOW. I don’t WANT to think about them in the future.
My wife thinks I can be pessimistic at times and I imagine I am. Although I think I tend to be more optimistic than she might give me credit for, I still have a tendency to worry about all the things that most people are worried about these days. Money, time spent away from home, work exhaustion, health issues. All of the things that everyone else seems to be concerned with I am worried about also. But I don’t want those things to define who I am. Who I am is the little boy who would roller skate around McConnelsville at 7am on a Saturday morning while my Dad is prepping for the morning breakfast crowd at our family restaurant. Who I am is the teenager who would give his brother & sisters a ride on the back of the lawnmower in the summertime. Who I am is the young man who would get a job at the local tv station right out of high school and go on to an amazing and fulfilling career. Who I am is the man who literally cried through most of his own wedding ceremony and I’ve never once been embarrassed by it. Who I am is the bumbling 30-year old holding a crying baby boy AND a video camera, not sure which one I would drop first. Who I am is the guy in the grass at Riverbend, rocking out to AC/DC and screaming like a maniac every time Angus drops a guitar solo. I am all of these memories and more…and every one of them is as important to me as any that will follow them.
Looking ahead at my future, the best I can hope for is that it is as fulfilling as all of the moments that have led to it. That is who I am. And if my days ahead are anything like my days behind me, I will have to consider myself to be one very lucky man.