The millstone of the past

My husband has digitised huge numbers of our family photos and they scroll past on our TV, a never-ending stream of images of parents, grandparents, our son as a child, our idiotic youthful activities, old cars, old houses, and holiday snaps.
He loves to look at them. I hate them. They make me cry. That child, that we loved so much, is now an adult, so, in a way, that child no longer exists. I love spending time with my adult son, but I can’t snuggle that child ever again, or read him stories, or hear about his school day, or remedy any mistakes I made in helping him to grow.

old sepia photos of a netball team
I’ll never be that skinny again, or have so many years of my future ahead of me, or have so many opportunities still to take advantage of.
Do I regret decisions and choices I made? Sure. Can I do anything about it now? Of course not. Anything I was going to learn from those mistakes, I already have done. So why would I want to be reminded of it all?
What I do want to think about is now, and the future. How to make the future better for all of us. Navel-gazing the past is pointless, apart from the fun of laughing at the fashions of yesteryear. Those photos, the memories they represent, are an assault on my wellbeing, not a joyous celebration of achievement. I’m not in any danger of looking back with smug self-satisfaction; instead, all I have is a determination to do better. And it will all be so much easier without dragging the past along with me.

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