Nostalgia and Old Photos
People across the globe are picking up long-forgotten hobbies and crafts like sewing, gardening, photography, woodworking, fishing, painting, and cooking. As for me, my project of choice is digitizing the old family photos during this extended time at home. I’m feeling nostalgic with pictures of the past.
Snapshots of Memories
A month of sheltering in place may not be enough time to sort and scan the thousands of photos spread all over my basement carpet, counters, and tabletops. It’s a huge project, sorting through pictures of events: holidays, weddings, birthdays, and vacations. It stirs my emotions, bringing both smiles and tears.
Examining pictures of deceased parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends make me feel nostalgic and I wonder to myself, “Is nostalgia a bad thing?”
What IS Nostalgia?
Although nostalgia was once considered a medical disease, it’s just the remembering of good times in the past with wistful longings for their return. It’s a wishing that things hadn’t changed, even though my rational brain knows that times weren’t as perfect as my memory likes to make them.
Homesickness vs Nostalgia
In the 1800s, nostalgia was considered potentially fatal for soldiers in foreign lands who stopped eating, lost weight, and became seriously depressed. They had to be sent home to recover before their health declined too far. Doctors understood that this “illness” could damage the immune system and create a downward spiral of health.
Nostalgia Is Generally Healthy
Today is different. I’m sitting in my own home missing the freedoms I had taken for granted just weeks ago. My photo project is a healthy escape from the present circumstances. It’s also a reminder that the ways of the world cannot be changed.
Pictures of loved ones and the stories that go with them are reminders that death is unavoidable for human beings. Everyone knows their time on earth is limited. It’s the details – the how and when – that’s unknown and can feel frightening.
Nostalgia Creates Confidence
On the flip side, the past spurs optimism about the future. The ways of the world include the good that is borne from bad, strengths bred by adversity, and new products or services birthed by creativity.
Feeling nostalgic with pictures can help with coping through difficulties and transitions. Fondness for the past brings confidence in the future and springtime is an annual reminder that life is resilient; the world continues to renew itself.
Appreciation for the Past
Nostalgic feelings and yearning for the old “normal” feed a healthy and deep appreciation for the founders of this country. Lost liberties, previously taken for granted, have escalated in value.
This perspective has swiftly reminded families of the value of older loved ones. Younger generations are realizing that our “normal” was simply riding on the coattails of what was fought for in the past.
An Idle Mind is the Devil’s Playground
Each day is lived with a future that only exists in the imagination. Each person chooses how to imagine what lies ahead. The imaginative mind can create a terrifying novel, scarier than Stephen King’s best sellers, or it can choose healthy productivity.
Please Choose To Be Productive With A Positive Attitude Because You Are Creating Tomorrow’s Memories Today
Share your thoughts in the comment box below…
How are YOU sharing optimism today?
What are YOU doing to proactively keep your mind and body healthy?
Do you have any old stories you’re willing to share?