The Office was one of my favorite shows. Last month, it’s nine year run came to an end with a great, tear-jerker of a final episode. Since watching it, most of the dialogue has escaped me. One line, however, voiced by Andy, the character played by The Hangover’s Ed Helms, has since stuck with me: “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them.”
It’s a quote that can comfortably live alongside sayings like “seize the day,” “live in the moment,” “appreciate what you have,” “you don’t know a good thing until it’s gone,” etc. On some level it’s just another iteration of the general “savor the life you’re in” kind of message. It’s not a new or novel idea. My parents always told me not to rush life because I’ll have time to be “x” older age I’m craving to be but I can’t go back to what I once was or had. This was always true advice and, objectively, I understood it. But, I never felt it. As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve come to intuitively understand it. That time passes along is a palpable thing. That the wonder of our current situations, even if unbeknownst to us, will one day pass as well is an inevitability. We should not wait until we have to look back longingly or miss times in our lives to appreciate them.
Now, missing the past doesn’t have to mean your present or your impending future don’t shine as bright. Missing does not have to be some blander form of jealousy for a former self. It’s just as surely a tip of the hat to the way things used to be – a nod of the head, a raise of your glass, a slight bow to your past. We can look back fondly because there is much in all our lives to look back fondly on. But, what I wish for everyone is that they can make this acknowledgement of the present as easily as they do of the past. Just take a moment, a split second, and acknowledge that these days right here…they’re the good old ones! Walk through your days with that realization at the forefront of your mind and, I promise you, you’ll miss less of the beauty of your life now.