Saturday, September 24, 2011

Looking Back

I do my best not to dwell in the past, but I've discovered a lot of the people who read my column and blog, prefer my stories about the past.
I've kept a journal for many years before I started blogging, and I've done a pretty good job of capturing what I was doing, thinking, and saying for over 30 years.
I pulled a journal off my bookshelf, flipped to September 24th 1997 and read where I was, what I did, and what I thought, fourteen years ago today.
A lot of the stuff in my journals is pretty mundane and you'd be bored to tears reading it, but I think it's important to know where you've been, so you know how far you've come.
In the pages I flipped through today, I fretted a great deal about my job, about money, about being debt free, about having stuff.
Looking back, it's hard to believe I wasted so much energy worrying, because the only thing it did for me was to take my mind off of the really important things like friendship, art, learning, creativity, music, spirituality, and family.
I shot the picture above on the way home from the nursing home this evening. It was a beautiful sunset in my rearview mirror. I was disappointed when I got home and looked at the picture. The image on my phone didn't come close to the beauty I saw in the mirror -- so I touched it up a little.
Even though the past can be mediocre at times, I think there is value in looking back.


  1. I like it once I reach the point where I can look back with nostalgia rather than regret.

  2. I read one of my old journals from ten years ago and noticed how much I worried about my family. Worry is a waste of time. I don't do much worrying any longer because it can't change anything.

  3. Anonymous12:59 AM

    Ithink it is great keeping journaals like this>you can read that after some years and see how you evolved from the life and circumstances back than.Wisdom comes with age..that is what older people say:)

  4. Journaling is a valauble life tool, I think, and I have never done it. Blogging is the closest I have come. I print it all out in book form at the end of each year and I now have 3 books. I love that one of my granchildren loves to go through them when he comes to visit. My hope is that they will find a strong family connection through the love that I have for them as they read it.
    I envy great writing like yours, Rick. You are able to gather stong thought images and write them in a wonderful way. Thanks for inspiring the trest of us!!

  5. I always that the present is always based from the past. The decisions you made, the steps you took, the trials and triumphs of the past is what we are now...

    Have a blessed Sunday Sir!


  6. I try not to look back at my past too much - but it's good to remember things too and to learn from them!

    Love your pic! Take care

  7. What I realize when looking into my past is that I'm much less naive now. I can detect the corruption around me and try to protect myself from it, which is not easy.

  8. Now that I am in a healthy place, I am able to review my past occasionally. I am in the best place ever now so I am generous with myself and others, something I was not good at years ago. I had high expectations of others and even more of myself. You are the first person I have heard of who really has journals through so many years. That is really interesting to me.

  9. How I wish I'd kept a journal by my side at all times for many, many years. I did keep a prayer journal for the last year or so that I was married. Most entries simply said, Please help me God.

    And He did.


  10. I kept a journal as a teen and then for a few years as an adult. I use my blog as a journal although I don't post many emotional depth of feeling like I would in a journal. So perhaps I should keep another journal for those thoughts. I laughed myself silly one night going over my teen journal. It was fun to visit with the young me and see how silly, and dorky I was at times, but also how many life changing events I went through...I would love to have a journal of my Dad's to read. He was a wonderful writer and story teller but never kept a journal. Hopefully my kids and grandkiddos will like my blog books someday.


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