Happiness and Nostalgia

Happiness and Nostalgia

nostalgia, quoteNostalgia, the vice of the aged. We watch so many old movies our memories come in monochrome. ~ Angela Carter

peggy lipton, mod squadI found my inspiration for this weeks post in an unfortunate bit of news.  Last night I was scanning the news and saw the news that Peggy Lipton had passed away.  It was a little sad for me, Peggy Lipton had been one of my earliest TV crushes.  Right after Nina on Zoom and before Susan Dey on the Partridge Family.  Nina was also thin, pretty and had long straight hair, what can I say it was the 70’s and I had a type.

nina lillie, zoom

Nina from Zoom

susan dey

Susan Dey

The Mod Squad was the progenitor of the hip cop shows, the original 23 Jump Street if you will.  I honestly don’t remember a lot about the show other than the actors, the way they looked and that general sense of cool that we all wanted and so few of us had.

Nostalgia is a funny thing, in small doses it can be a really awesome thing.  Having a dip back into the happy parts of our lives, the proverbial trip down memory lane, can be a really warm and wonderful thing.  However, spending too much time down that memory lane can be a problem.  If you live too much in the past, you lose touch with the present.  Particularly if you are doing it to avoid a less happy now.  Using nostalgia as a way to avoid the present, and particularly as a comparison for the present, is a mistake.  You see our memories are imperfect records.  Over time, depending on what we want to pull from our memories, events in the past can be mentally photoshopped to be much better or much worse versions of reality.  So you can get lost in longing for those better times, but often, those better times weren’t really as good as we recall.  We’ve edited out the bad days, the tragedies, and the way we actually felt to create a more perfect time.  Our brains are masters of denial and rationalization and we can create a really wonderful past that never existed.

But dipping your toes back in that pond, thinking about sitting in your pj’s in front of the TV, watching young attractive hippies working as undercover cops is ok.  Just don’t spend too much time doing it.  Finally, my best wishes for Peggy Lipton’s family tonight, a really awful mother’s day and I hope they can find some solace in her long and talented life.  As always my friends, have a happy day. ~ Rev Kane

About revmichaelkane

Reverend Michael Kane is a writer, photographer, educator, speaker, adventurer and a general sampler of life. His most recent book about hiking and happiness is Appalachian Trail Happiness available in soft cover and Kindle on Amazon
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2 Responses to Happiness and Nostalgia

  1. So true. I love your quote to start the post – we seem to be caught unaware that so much time has passed. And isn’t it interesting how we see it with rose coloured glasses? I think Peggy Lipton might have had a pair of those on The Mod Squad – it was one of my first favourite TV shows. I remember my dad used to tease me about my enthusiasm – he altered their character names and would shout down the hall as the show started, “it’s Leek, Pete and Stooley on the tube!”
    Thanks for the skip down memory lane. I hadn’t heard the news – only that Doris Day had also recently died but she was not so much a memory of mine so that didn’t resonate as much.

    • revmichaelkane says:

      Thanks for the comment, yeah, I got some of the same grief for watching the Mod Squad so enthusiastically as well. ~ Rev Kane

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