What do you choose to remember?
Last weekend, my husband and I went to visit friends in Las Vegas — well, technically N. Las Vegas. N. Las Vegas is a sort of sprawling suburb that was all built in the last building boom (90s? 00’s?), the kind where large houses are placed on small lots inside defensive walls (what are they defending against?), with tract names like Hidden Gardens. If you want to walk very far, you are forced to walk outside the defensive cement block walls on 6 lane boulevards with left turn turn-out lanes. (The photo to the left is what it looked like where I was walking.)
I went on my morning walk each day. You could
see lovely mountains in the distance, but partly because it’s the desert and partly because of the walls and boulevards, and partly because the iPhone has no optical zoom, it was difficult to find something I really wanted to share on FB. I did, eventually manage this photo (on the right) by showing a lot of sky. I like it much better — more peaceful, more beautiful.
And that’s when it hit me: We have a choice about what to remember and how to remember it. We can choose to remember the unvarnished truth, up close and personal, or we can choose to remember the best version of an event — or the worst. Yes, the large stretches of asphalt and the cement block walls are there, along with the power lines and street lights — and we can choose to focus on the snow-covered mountains instead. (Or as our host said of my photos of The Strip, “You make it look so much better than it actually is.”)
When you think back over your life, what are you choosing to remember? Are you choosing to remember every time you messed up, or every time you succeeded — or both? Are you choosing to remember every time you were slighted, or every compliment paid to you, every kindness done to you? Or both? How do you hold the ‘negatives’: as a victim, or as things you can learn from? It’s all your choice — and one set of choices will make you happier than another. (BTW, it’s possible to shift these memories — if you’d like help, call me at 888-4-hollis.)