Like a million other Office-fans, I tuned out somewhere in the middle. But before the end, there was something that beckoned me back, and I cuddled up to watch The Office Finale. It’s funny how characters on a show can be a part of your life – not that Jim and Pam and I were ever buddies, but watching them in the finale reminded me of the days I watched them fall in love. And who I watched those early seasons with. Such fun memories.
And then Andy – my third-least favorite character, to be honest (Kelly & Ryan leading the pack) – throws this at my soul: “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”
How true these words ring in my heart.
There are all different kinds of good old days, and I’m convinced that life holds several sets of them.
There are the days that you don’t know are good until they are in fact old – until life has given you a new perspective and you see those old days as better than they felt at the time. Then there are the classic good old days. The days you know are good when you’re in them. When you look around at smiling faces, when you feel safe and whole and take deep breaths of sunshine. When friendships are vibrant and secure and you laugh at tomorrow because the idea of tomorrow bringing change seems ridiculously odd.
But then tomorrow comes. And it brings change. And you find yourself looking backwards. And wondering when you left the good old days behind.
I’ve already been lucky enough to experience several sets of good old days … the good old days of five girls crammed into a tiny apartment and living off laughter … the good old days when Jason was an RD and we didn’t pay rent or utilities or know that married couples could fight about such silly things … the good old days when we hiked backpacks onto our shoulders and cast cares to the wayside, hopping trains and planes and rikshaws … the good old days when we breathed deep of community and found the beauty of roots. So many good old days.
Good old days are ahead, but good old days are behind, too.
It’s the days in between those good old days that can get to me sometimes. And I’m in those days right now. The days where things are shifting, where there is both loss and gain. The days of change. These are hard days for me.
“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”
But there’s not. Maybe that’s part of the magic of the good old days. There’s no way to know when they will end. They could be as endless as an Indian Summer or as fleeting as a dandelion’s puff.
If you’re in a set of good old days right now – be it an office where you sell paper, a Church you call Home (and mean it), a sweet friendship where you can be messy, or a time of simplicity – breathe deep. Say thanks. And call them the good old days. Now. Before you leave them. String up lights and celebrate those people and places you’ll always be glad were a part of your days.