Day 18 of Blog Every Day in May is ‘nostalgia’. Nostalgia means ‘a desire to return in thought, or in fact, to a former time in one’s life’. I suppose there’s nostalgia where you look back but are happy with the life choices you’ve made which got you to where you are, or where you look back and are not happy or had little choice. In my mind, there’s definitely a divide between before and after I got sick. It’s maybe not so much nostalgia, but more a realisation that I took for granted too much the things I could do before, like:
– breathing without being in pain.
– walking and being able to go out without having to ‘plan it out’ in my head first
– doing sports
– playing woodwind, singing and performing in concerts
– being able to stand up for longer than a few minutes
– being able to maintain the same dress size consistently
– having a really good memory
– making my own meals and doing jobs in the house…
…You get the idea. I have days where I get nostalgic and run over the full list in my head. But I realised everyone has those days. Everyone looks back at an ‘easier’ or different time or says ‘it isn’t fair that…’, it’s part of being a human. It’s healthy to accept something isn’t going the way you’d like, even if we’re conditioned in society to come up with an ‘at least it isn’t/wasn’t...’ outcome. It’s nostalgia. There’s just a difference between permanently living like that and thinking it every now and then.
So if I think about ‘before’, I used to race through everything. I used to be active and do a lot, but I was constantly looking for the next thing, of ways to improve. I’d set goals, but once I’d achieved them I wouldn’t feel accomplished, I’d just set another one. If I think about ‘after’, I acknowledge my small achievements, I live more in the present, I appreciate little things. I might physically achieve less, but mentally I’m beginning to think I’ve gained more.