To say that 2020 has been difficult is perhaps the biggest understatement of the century. Throughout these past six-seven months, many of us have found ourselves grieving the way things used to be. I think to some extent that is why antique stores exist. We cherish the “good ‘ole days.” We reminisce, looking back to when times were simpler, when products lasted for twenty years instead of falling apart. It’s funny how our minds have the ability to wash away the hard and retain only the good memories.
For instance, my mom loves primitives. She loves the sturdy, well-built wooden furniture that comes from this time period. In some ways, it can seem like she has romanticized the 1800’s. She loves the quilts, the rolling pins, all the tools of domestic housework from this time period. But if you were to offer her a million dollars to travel back in time to the 1800’s to live in non-air-conditioned farmhouse and do all the chores that someone like Caroline Ingalls would have done, I cannot imagine she would do it, unless perhaps she had a U-haul truck that she could bring back artifacts from the 1800’s with in this magic time machine.
Whether it is romanticizing pre-Covid life or remembering the 1800’s, 1920’s, 1950’s fondly, all of it can be damaging to our emotional health in the present. Toni Berhnard, writes in Psychology Today, that “We also tend to assume that other eras were better than ours.” When we allow ourselves to distort memories of the past, forgetting the troubles that come along with the good times, we can easily end up feeling depressed.
As an antique dealer, I am by no means telling you to quit remembering the good ole days. We would go out of business with that advice! But I do want to encourage you that as you think back to the good ole days, don’t fall into the trap of comparison. I always tell myself that “Comparison is the thief of Joy!” Don’t let comparison of pre-covid routines or of the good ‘ole days steal the joys that are found in the new normal.
We would love to see you. So please stop by and visit us. I hope you are all surviving and thriving in midst of the new normal.