A few months ago, my husband and I took a fun little quiz that informed the quizzee on what kind of personality he/she has. The answers given to a series of questions determined the participants value system and general outlook on life. My husband’s answers categorized him as an Inventor, which is someone who “worries about the future.” My answers, of course, landed me in a very different department. I was an Artist, or one who “worries about the past.” Although my husband has never really invented anything and I have never really artist-ed anything, the broader implications of the quiz were uncannily accurate.
I am a sentimental slob. I spend roughly eighty-percent of my time looking over my shoulder, relishing in memories and aggrandizing the “good ‘ole days.” Don’t get me wrong; I am generally quite happy in the present and enjoy my day-to-day life immensely. It’s just that I want each piece of it to last forever, and I find it tragic when Present is swallowed into Past and I can’t hold on to both at the same time. My approach to life as an Artist is why I have a mini-breakdown at the beginning of each new school year and every time one of my children has a birthday. Mathematically, this means I have a mini-breakdown once every three months. (Did I say I was generally quite happy?)
When I was in my twenties, I dreamed fondly of my carefree adolescence. My thirties had me longing for the idealistic glow of my twenties. And my forties have, of course, brought with them the realization of just how splendid and splashy were the days of my thirties (never mind that they were a mere six months ago.) Savoring the past can, for me, lead to discounting the present, and even dreading the future.
My husband is different. He gets excited about