Reflecting on prior lives…


“It’s no use to go back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”  (From Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll) – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

I often use the phrase, “In a prior life, I was…” to relate things from my past, usually about the different jobs that I had in different industries. I seldom dwell on the past and have no regrets about things changing; that’s just how life is. I might reflect on some past job ( a past life) as a boredmeans to recollect some of the co-workers and friends that I had while in that job. Most job-related friends tended to fall away, once I was no longer in those jobs; although I’ve still got one friend from a job-related relationship with whom I still play golf and socialize with.

Some people seem to think that if they try hard enough to keep those relationships alive they can recapture the moments from that past that they so fondly remember. I get newsletters and event invites several time a year from one such group from a prior life. This is a group of ex-Army guys trying to keep alive and relive our shared experiences in Viet Nam in the late 1960’s. I have only vague recollections of those experiences and little desire to relive them.

Another group that I get frequent emails from is constituted of “alumni” from a failed technology company that I used to work for. The group holds “reunions” a couple of times a year and keeps everyone updated on the latest goings on in each other’s lives via Facebook posts. I used to attend the reunions, but haven’t been to one in years, now. They tended to be events in which the only topic of discussion was the “good ole days” and people seeking new jobs. It became obvious that talking-2there was little that we had in common once the job that we all related to had vanished. As I reflect on the time when I was there it is now apparent to me that the only topic of conversation that we had at the various social gatherings that we had was job related. How boring of a time that must have been for our spouses.

So, the little quote from Alice in Wonderland makes perfect sense. I was a different person then; and I am a different person now. Today I tend to discuss real estate in social gatherings, rather than computers. The nature of a real estate career does not promote the close social ties that other, in-the-office type jobs might. I work from my home, so I don’t have a lot of social interaction with my real estate co-workers. We have social events during the year and the talk there tends to revolve around real estate deals – how boring that must be for our spouses.

smiling manSo, perhaps it’s OK to reflect on our prior lives once in a while, but none of us can go back and relive whatever fond memories that we might have. We were different people then. Maybe we can learn a few things from that reflection that might help us in our current lives; but we are different people now and must live in the present and perhaps still dream of the future.

Have a great today and let yesterday go!

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