Nostalgia’s Best Gift for Seniors

Jul 27th, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Some warn against getting too absorbed in nostalgia.  Maybe so.  Maybe not.  Nostalgia is one of those potential traps that can lead you through doors from which exit may be difficult.  But it is also one of those places where you can go to find harmony, the harmony that comes with well remembered moments of a life past, of idyllic days, of special moments, of pleasant and peaceful tranquility. It can bring up places and events, good times and rewarding thoughts that help to reinforce how good life was at a given time. 

Among my collections are toys from my childhood.  They prompt, with glorious recall, those times when playing in the dirt, I was the happiest human being alive.  If I play in the dirt today, it is to plant or transplant.  Then, it was to plant, memories of my young life, imaginary episodes that helped create the person I would become, the joy of being alone and completely content.  Nostalgia is not a bad thing. Though those of us who are advancing in age are met with the increasing prospect of dementia, one of the ways we find of keeping our senses about us is to remember.  Remember all you can, as much as you can, as often as you can.  Remember places and things, occasions and personalities, fond experiences, unique and wonderful human beings who helped form and shape your life.  Among my favorites are teachers and characters from my youth.  Among those recalls are the ones that recreate scenery, specific buildings, roadways that led to interesting places. Our lives pass much too quickly, our times spent with uniquely wonderful human beings gone in a flash, our days when life was not held accountable by responsibility, but only the fun of living it. 

When nostalgia creeps in, allow it.  Don’t head it off.  Don’t discourage it.  Encourage the invasion of a moment somewhere in time that, if only ever so briefly, you can relive.  Give permission to those occasions when the glory of being there again lets you in on the secret of why childhood is so marvelous.  Never push it away.  If awaking from a dream in which memory has been focused on one of those times, awaken slowly.  Let it simmer, like a fine gourmet soup.  Let the menagerie of your past become a part of the wonder of your present.  You got here, by having been there.  Hold on to it as if a precious gift.



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