Sunday, 30 December 2012

Now or Then?

The sun sets on 2012
As 2012 draws to a close, I've heard a mixture of views about the year. Certainly a number of people have said it was their worst ever and 2013 needs to be a whole lot better. I wonder against what you judge a year's success or failure. 

I can imagine the loss of a loved one, redundancy, serious illness, divorce could be a hint that it's a year you'd rather forget, but on the other hand a successful year might be a marriage, a birth, a house move, a windfall of cash, a new job or an adventure you'll never forget.

The vast majority of my years for example are a mixture of emotions, some difficult times mixed with some good times. So how serious does the bad have to be to outweigh the good to dub it a year you'd rather forget? There's a whole lot of contradictory amateur and professional psychology about which talks about forgetting the past and look to the future only whilst others say the past has made you who you are and therefore how or why should you forget it. The past does shape us to become who we are today. But that doesn't mean to say we have to stay in that shape.

Some people bury the past because it's too painful to remember the traumas whilst others hang on the successes of the past and the pleasant memories. 

Perhaps this is too simple, but for me, the past can't be changed - success or trauma alike. It can't be erased and can't be changed to reinvent the outcome. It's just a spark of electricity in your brain, a piece of data stored away to come back and haunt you or delight you. Can we selectively forget, I suppose we can, but the memory is still there locked away somewhere and our character or behaviour is directly or indirectly affected by it one way of the other.

Ironically the future doesn't exist of course in any way shape or form. I guess we can influence immediate future events although this isn't entirely certain because events unknown or unexpected can come to bite us on the bum and scupper our plans very easily. 

So what do we know? Now. That's it, for certain, we know what we can see, hear and feel at this very moment in time. Many writers talk about the 'now' and how we should enjoy it for what it is, and if that's all we were able to concentrate on, living in this moment we call now will make the worries of the past disappear and the future isn't even a consideration. Of course this is more difficult that you can ever imagine, particularly in this modern and dynamic world and few people can concentrate hard enough to live in the 'now' for more than a few seconds or minutes.

This doesn't mean to say that we shouldn't give it a go, especially in times of stress or anxiety and one method could be meditation for example.

But before I go, I just want to mention a few people who have left us this year and passed on, none of which I have met and not even been particularly influenced by, but those I want to mention have given much pleasure and interest and have helped to pass the time now and then.

Singers Andy Williams and Robin Gibb, Davy Jones of the Monkees and musicians Dave Brubeck, Ravi Shankar and Hal David and actors Ernest Borgnine and Herbert Lom as well as writer, actor, director and stunning comedian, Eric Sykes. There have been others, writers, Kings, philosophers and astronauts as well as ordinary people who touch our hearts and senses in a whole host of ways. Gone but not forgotten.

As the New Year draws ever closer, I wish you and yours a safe, happy and successful 2013. 
Chat soon


  1. I'm famous with my mob for my very busy mind. As I've become older, learning to meditate in a way I can manage has been quite a blessing. Helps me slow and focus. Quiet time, me time, if you like. So, spot on :)

    Thanks for the reminder. I'm overdue for me time .

  2. Hi Wheelie
    You are very welcome young man
    Enjoy your meditation

  3. I'm a bit of a pessimist and always have been. I mean it's a "if something nice ever happens to me, something bad will be waiting round the corner" approach I tend to (amusingly to others) live by.

    Years may come, years may go, and the unexpected will be chapping on many a door.

    ps....Eric Sykes was one of my dad's hero's.

  4. Hi Helena
    I was certainly a pessimist like you and for exactly the same reason! Weird. Sykes was a stunning talent.