We have Winston Churchill to thank for that pearl of wisdom. There’s also a Yiddish Proverb that suggests “Bygone troubles are good to tell.” Good stuff to think about as we prepare to end one year and begin another.
Many people will attempt to wax eloquent on occasions such as this–odd, in a way because all we’re really doing is changing one digit at the end of the dates on our calendars. But it is an opportunity to reflect on the past, present, and future. I can’t resist some attempted eloquence myself.
Shall I enjoy sharing some bygone troubles? (Did I just hear a collective groan?) Let’s understand the wisdom is not in sharing the troubles. The wisdom (and joy) is that those troubles are past! I’m typing this on a new laptop with the latest software versions. I could, I’m sure, share a number of troubles I was having prior to this–some were amusing, all were frustrating. There were days when I was sure I was experiencing hell.
“You can’t do that unless you have the current version of Internet Explorer.”
“You can’t install the latest version of Internet Explorer unless you have Windows 7”
“You can’t install Windows 7 on your current machine because…”
Perhaps someday hell will be defined as having obsolete technology. I’m happy to report, however, that those troubles are “bygone,” at least for a few months until newer and better starts arriving. I’m told that three years is now about the maximum life expectancy of most technology.
For some reason, all this reminded me of the black-capped chickadees I enjoy watching at the feeder. Science tells us that these little wonders store (cache) food, but only remember the locations for about 28 days. And you thought you were having long-term memory problems? As I recall (I encountered this bit of information some years ago), the chickadees are constantly growing new brain cells and, of course, creating new memories.
It might be tempting to wish for the chickadee’s ability–imagine starting over with new memories every month or so? Talk about bygone troubles! “Hey, I’m going through hell right now but in 28 days I won’t remember it!”
The obvious problem is that you won’t remember the good times, either. But where would we be without the memories of our adversities? Perhaps it is time to remove some of the value judgements we quickly place on things that have happened, are happening, or may happen. There was one task I faced with the upgrades that I truly dreaded–partly because it had caused me great pain during past upgrades. I put it off until the last possible moment. My fingers shook a bit on the keys and mouse… but I did it without a hitch.
“Keep going…” is a great slogan for a new year. I think I’ll make it mine. So I suppose I can offer the traditional “Happy New Year” greeting… but my real wish for you is that you’ll keep going!