The Good Old Days…are Now

The Beach at Cape May around 1929
The Beach at Cape May around 1929















When I hear people lament how “the good old days” are gone, I have to stop and add my two cents. The good old days are not gone, they are still happening, right around you. The power of positive thinking will put them back on your calendar.

We each face hardships and challenges at various points in our lives, but we also have amazing people, places and events put in our paths to make life sparkle. Sometimes we take for granted all that we have around us—things, friends and family can all sometimes be overlooked as “just part of the room.” It’s when we stop to think about (and appreciate) all we have, that we empower ourselves to stand right in the center of the universe and bask in “the good old days.” Positive thinking goes a long way.

My parents often used the saying “in the old days” to frame out a story in which they related aspects of their lives, good and bad. These short anecdotes would sometimes catch my attention long enough to make me pause and compare my life with their former lives. While I will admit some of the old stories became really boring and repetitive over the years, today I wish my parents were still here to ask them to tell me more about their lives, growing up.

My parents rarely said, “The good old days.” They appreciated all of the days, past and present. Both my mother and father grew up during the Great Depression. They appreciated the value of having a steady job, having food on the table and a roof over their heads. They raised three children, my father working two jobs and my mother working nights and later returning to work full time when I was in second grade. They met the challenges of each day, head-on.

Throughout my early life, Mom and Dad would often reminisce about family, friends and times long gone, but never forgotten. When I think back to many of those stories that were told to me, I realize my parents never had it easy. Even in retirement, they constantly worried about being able to keep the house and pay the bills, living solely on social security. They always worried about everything, but they also loved life. They taught me how to find the good in things and appreciate what we are given and what we have got.

We each create our own energy, often unknowingly channeling it to friends, family and co-workers. Negative energy not only affects us, it is contagious. Luckily, positive energy has the same affect. We all have the ability to work some magic to turn something negative into something positive. Just calling a friend or family member to say hello and thank them for being there sets off a positive chain reaction with great bio-feedback. When you feel down, look around you and see what the world has waiting to offer you. Look out the window and notice something new. Call a friend or family member and see what they are doing. Start a new project or finish an old one. Volunteer somewhere to help those in need. Most importantly, know that in life, we are never alone. Friends and family here and in spirit are always just a shout away. There is positive energy waiting for us. All we have to do is claim it.

My dad used to say, we make our own happiness. He felt that we should not wait for happiness to come to us, it should start within us, and be carried into the field to others around us. This is not to say everyone should become a Pollyanna, happy 24/7, but if we try to refocus on the positive, we may be happier more often and in a better place in general.

Past, present and future will always be a mix of emotions and ups and downs. Sure, we can remember great times in our lives and wish we could relive them, but if you think about it, when we were having those great times in the past, we were also probably worrying about other things at the same time. We just choose to remember the good times and forget the bad. My point is, try to focus on the positive, deal with negative situations and get past them, and know that in the short time we are all here, we need to get the most out of life we can.

Today, next week, next month, and in years to come, think of every day as a gift that you are still here on this earth, living, learning and loving. The good old days are not old at all. They are here right now and, if you want, they will be here for the rest of your life. Stay focused, stay positive, and stay connected with friends, family and nature, here and in spirit. Enjoy those great memories and make lots of new ones. You are the magic.