REFLECTIONS

New Year is round the corner

Don't stress about amnesia over what happened in the past

In Summary

• Every New Year is about a new start and making new memories

Making New Year's resolutions
Making New Year's resolutions
Image: COURTESY

In last weekend’s article, I talked about things I hate about the holidays, and one of the things I mentioned was hand-bells. I should tell you that sometimes when I am writing, I have no idea what I’m about to say until I’ve said it and hand-bells in last week’s article was one of those I couldn’t tell you where the thought came from. I did wonder, though, so I set that aside in the ‘I wonder’ folder in my brain.

The very next day after I’d submitted the article, I was telling someone about the high school I went to, and right in the middle as I was talking, it came to me where my hate for hand-bells comes from: high school.

I may or may not have talked about this before, I’m not sure, but for my secondary education, I was packed off to an upcountry boarding school. What I am sure I never mentioned about that school was the hand-bell.

 

Now this country school didn’t have one of those electric bell systems you’d find in a swankier school and that go off like fire alarms. What we had was a guy with a hand-bell (a different student every week), running through dormitories ringing the thing at five in the morning to wake us up.

We hated that bell. There was, however, no point in making the damn thing disappear because on the occasions that happened, whomever whose duty it was to wake people up would just run through the school screaming his head off for people to wake up.

What can I say; the place made us all nut jobs.

The thing is, I had completely forgotten about that bell from back in high school until last week, when I was taking about school. It’s not the first time I’ve experienced this complete loss of vast swathes of memory from my past. Someone will tell me about that time 10, 15 or 20 years ago we went to this place or that and we were with so and so, and I will have absolutely no memory of ever having stepped foot at such a place or hanging out with whoever.

Naturally when I first noticed this complete forgetting bits of my past like it never happened, and was mildly concerned about onset of Alzheimer’s, I run it by my sister and what she said was, “It was another life.” That struck and stuck.

What I took from that is first, I should leash up the hypochondria. Second, another life is to say the person that was me 10, 15, 20 years ago or almost three decades ago in high school is not me today, for with each passing year, you change. And the more the years accumulate, the more far removed you become from the person you were.

So it’s probably okay not having the memories of that someone who is not you anymore. That’s what every New Year is about: a new start and making new memories.

 

So I close my eyes to old ends and open my heart to new beginnings – Nick Frederickson