Living, In The Past?

A recent essay dealt with memories that I considered good ones. After reading the paper a few times, I felt I was also saying something else between the lines. I firmly believe that aging is not a pleasant journey. As we age into our 70s and 80s, much that we experience is quite trying.  Remember, I wrote that Lenette and I had no thoughts of aging until I was 92 and she 86. It was a sudden realization and challenging to accept.

Giving up our adult toys and our way of living is not easy for anyone who has enjoyed getting where they are. Through our businesses and life’s tribulations, we certainly squeezed the most out of our journey. We took things as they came, wave after wave, whether by planning or pure serendipitously. And on the way made a few waves ourselves.

Having given up driving, among other things, we have become dependent on others. How is any of this a “happy time?” Yet we must be realistic. Accepting that we need the help of others while knowing how lucky we are to have them here for us is our new reality.

I have concluded that it is our memories and the good times from our past that we must bring back into our lives. Not as if able to be our former selves, but back through our discussions with others our age. 

This is an interesting realization on my part. I spent years teaching and keeping people in the present, and that dialogue is impossible if we are not “here and now.” Yet, there is value in sharing our good stories and laughing with the others we share with and who share their stories with us. This, as opposed to being mainly in the present, discussing our aging and health issues. Ironically, I now suggest that revisiting the past by sharing our fond memories is a positive way to address our aging.


Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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