There is something really special about catching up with friends from your past. Friends who have known you in your school years or university years. Friends who you have a past with, people who remember what you were like before kids, careers…before responsibilities.
My weekend was filled with this. One catch up was with a friend I went to school with, and we have shared memories of our teenage years, parties, first loves, summer holidays roaming from one experience to the next. She now lives too far away to catch up regularly, but we talk often and catch up when travel allows us to do so. I also had a lovely lunch with a friend who I had lost contact with, we met at university and then a few years later we worked together. Years and lives divided us but we have found our way back again.
Conversations with both friends were filled with catching up on where life has taken us all. The twists and turns that we have been through, some we are still navigating and are raw and painful. We relived the past, remembered good times, questioned some of the choices we made that have since put us on the path that we are on today. There were memories, good and bad. There was longing for things that did not happen and sometimes sadness for some of things that have occurred.
Today I chatted with the lovely elderly neighbour at work. He was out, pottering in his garden. We discussed his recent birthday, he celebrated turning 82. He could not believe it. Where had the time gone? He remarked that he still felt so young, if only his hearing and eye sight was better. He had no regrets, he still had good health and he had and still was enjoying life.
My elderly father has come to stay for a while. Confronted full on with the passing of time. How old he has become. Frail and sad. Age frightens me. Shock was what took hold. In forty or so more years, is this my end? Will I be just a ‘burden’ on my children? Will I have done all that I want in this life I have been given? Will I have regrets. Probably. I already do about some of the experiences I have lived or some of the opportunities I did not embrace in my past 40 or so years.
So where to from now? How to write the next chapter of our lives? What will the next chapters begin to look like? What words will play across the page? I spent a weekend looking back. Enjoying the memories. Young, free, irresponsible. The chapters of my past were certainly different from what I expected. Do I need to remind myself each day to make the most of each moment? Experience the experiences with all senses present. Feel all the emotions that life has to offer.
So the weekend was wonderful. I enjoyed the catch ups and the questions that were raised. I love looking back. I was so different to who I am now. So it is important to start looking at the fresh pages, ready to write the next 40 or so years! Yes… Yes I am ready.