We are living in the good old days

A few days ago, my family and I had a short three-night holiday in Phuket, Thailand. We didn’t do anything crazy. No jet skiing, no parasailing, and no island hopping.1

But the fact that all of us, with different work and school commitments, could free our calendars and go on the trip together was remarkable in of itself. It made me look back fondly at my past family holidays where, because my siblings and I were all in the same school, we could embark on week long roadtrips or multi-country tours with no back-and-forth de-conflicting of schedules. I thought to myself, man, those were the good old days.

That’s true. They were the good old days. But I’m living in the good old days right now too. There will come a time in the future when I reminisce about my family’s holiday at Phuket.2 How we wrote our Chinese names on the sand, the early morning cycling with my parents and the water buffaloes we spotted, and the time we spent huddled in our rental car cruising around the unexpectedly large island of Phuket.

Maybe I’ll look back at this Phuket holiday with even more fondness when the schedules of my siblings and I get even more hectic and loaded with fixed commitments. By then, we may have our own families to care for and even more schedules to de-conflict with. And as dark as it sounds, it is nevertheless correct to say that my family and I will not always be healthy enough to leave home and vacation overseas. We may grow too frail and sick to do so. The point3 is, I am always living in some version of the good old days.

In the future, I will miss that getaway to Phuket. In the future, I will miss the fact that I have to sit for exams in a month’s time. In the future, I will miss how I get to have lunch with my friends without the need for any elaborate planning.

But it’s much better if I appreciate them right now, while living through it, instead of reserving my appreciation for the future. I am living in the good old days.

Credit for this idea goes to David at raptitude.com.


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Published: October 9, 2023
Last updated:

Footnotes

  1. I did get to see a few tourists go parasailing though and I was surprised at how the workers had no harness connecting them to the parasail. They would just sit on the ropes of the parasail. One wrong move and they free fall into the water or onto the beach.
  2. And that includes right now, while I’m writing this essay.
  3. of this hastily written essay