With the number of 1970s songs on this blog, it’s no surprise that Joanna and I are Fleetwood Mac fans. “Don’t Stop,” once used as a campaign song for Bill Clinton, captures one of the things I love most about my wife. She has been through more difficulties than most Americans, but almost invariably when faced with an obstacle will “think about times to come.” Christine McVie wrote:
If your life was bad to you [and Joanna’s often was, when she was a child]
Just think what tomorrow will do.
As a recovering alcoholic, I am regularly reminded to spend most of my time thinking about today, “one day at a time.” As a historian, naturally I see value in looking backward (hence this blog, among other things), and as a counselor Joanna does the same. But that doesn’t mean wallowing in the past.
Trying to maintain optimism (or sometimes, perhaps, just acceptance), thinking about the things we can change, is definitely more productive than focusing on what we cannot change.