7/22/2014 08:09

The Good Old Days

In the past few weeks, I've biked through three separate police actions - crime scenes or arrests - within blocks of my house.

Over the past year, I lost all confidence in the dentist I was seeing and will need to switch to a different dentist.

Confidence in my web hosting provider doesn't seem far behind. I may decide to move my electronic home to a much more expensive neighborhood.

Life is changing and there isn't anything I can do about it. Except to adapt. Outside forces are compelling me to change my life and habits.

I only want to change when I decide to change.

All this makes me nostalgic for the 1950s and 1960s when I was a child. In those days, crime and death and poor service and unfair labor practices happened. They happened to my family. But they were all the responsibility of the adults.

When I was a child, my life was changing all the time, but I had the illusion that there was a target I was moving toward, a fixed target or at least a stable one: being grown up. Stability was an ideal that I've found hard to give up.

My mother might have dismissed all of this wishful thinking with one of her favorite quotes: "It's not like it used to be. And it never was."

In actual reality I can be nostalgic for things that never were and times I never lived. Nostalgia is probably not a very good play in the game because it is too easily misdirected, and then the play doesn't bring the intended result. But there is something comfortable about nostalgia; I'm thinking probably the fuzziness gives an illustion of a warm blanket. You never get that from cold logic or facing the hard truth. Just look at our idioms!

Here's the thing about playing the actual reality game. All the other players are playing it at the same time. And they are all changing, too.