There are many who cherish their memories, knowing that their past has shaped their present. Some time ago Philip wrote about Sweet Sweet Memory on his blog, and the increasing pleasure he is gaining from turning the pages of his memory book.
I wish it worked like that for me, but that's not the way it is. I find more resonance in The L P Hartley quote - 'The past is a foreign country' - just because I've been somewhere doesn't mean I'd want to go back or live there. My daydreams are always about the future - about something I'm working towards, planning to do, or simply looking forward to. Sometimes it's been the big things - like thinking about my children as successful happy adults or working to save for a deposit on a house. At others it's just the comfort of looking to the weekend from the woes of a mid-working-week Wednesday. I'm more likely to get excited by the potential of a new football season than any reflection on the glories of the season gone. And I'm definitely the target audience for those boxing day adverts to book a summer holiday - just the thought of a holiday is enough to get me through the winter gloom and no end of daily drudge.
So for ages I've been fine - I've had the promise of both a grand prix and a grandchild to feed my need for anticipation and expectation. Both turned out even better than I'd hoped. So am I contented? Am I heck. With a blatant and total disregard of the pleasure I get from my present - which is lovely - and dismissing any thought of counting my blessings, I'm feeling bereft.
I know I should give myself a serious talking to, and in response to at least one anticipated comment - I know I should get over myself and be glad for what I have. But right now, I don't know what to look forward to next and my dissatisfaction is compounded by a growing sense of doom about my age. I've always believed in the notion of endless possibility - that each of us can continue to change and grow or try out new things whenever we set our minds to it, but it's slowly dawning on me that the older I get, the less future there is to look forward to, and the longer the list of all those things I'll never get round to learning or achieving.
I've known for some time that I'll never be a ballet dancer, and I realise that my dreams of becoming Eliza Doolittle on the west end stage have always been tinged with more fantasy than reality, but I'm not yet ready for the shrinking horizons of 'later life'.
What I need is a plan, a cunning plan. What I need, in the immortal words of Edmund Blackadder is
"a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel"