I just read the most interesting study about a concept called "presentism." Basically, the idea is that your brain only remembers snippets of the past and fills in the rest with details from the present. So if you're in a good mood, you're more likely to remember past events positively. If you're in a bad mood, you'll remember past events negatively. That's why when you are going through a hard time and you're sad or hurt, it's hard to remember being happy.
Even more than that, when we think about the future, we basically just project the present forward. So if we're happy or sad right now, we expect that we'll be happy or sad in the future. I thought this was so interesting because it puts the whole "live in the present" thing into perspective. So rather than live in the present, I would say we should live happily in the present, because then our past and our future will seem happier to us.
There's a quote I love from The Office that puts into words what I'm trying to say: “I wish there was a way to know when you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”
Why is it that when we’re in the good old days, we don’t realize it? And when we’re out of them, all we want is to be back in them? So the question is, how do we stop and smell the roses while they’re still fresh, instead of trying to get a whiff of the memory once the rose has already dried up? Reminiscing and nostalgia are certainly nice, but do you ever wish you could reminisce in the present tense?
So that’s my goal now. I want to live in the good NEW days and reminisce in the present tense.
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