A couple of weeks ago, my hubby, son, and I went out to walk around a quaint little district in Fremont known as Niles Canyon. Maybe you better know this place as the Almost Silent Film Capitol of the World? The haunt of Charlie Chaplin before he went to Hollywood? No? Well, it’s an awesome little historic town full of cinematic history in the Niles Silent Film Museum, antiques stores, restaurants, and the amazing Niles Canyon Railway (Side note: if you love trains and are in the area during the holidays, their Train of Lights is a must-see experience.)
But, I digress. Let’s get back to the antique stores, shall we? It happens to all of us at a certain age. You walk into an antique store and, bam! There’s your favorite lunchbox from when you were a kid. It’s sitting on a shelf above your head, a round green sticker with the neatly handprinted number 35 stuck to its underside. (That’s dollars, not cents. Or 1935.) Several thoughts go through your head at that point.
Wonder what ever happened to my lunchbox? Could be at mom’s somewhere, but she probably gave it away, or it’s in a landfill. Too bad, we could sell this stuff for the big bucks now. Geez, I’m old! Hmm. What if this is my lunchbox?
Of course, deep down I knew this wasn’t mine, and in the 60s and 70s no one could’ve predicted the future resale value of a Mickey Mouse School Bus lunchbox. Back then old junk was just that…old junk.
I strolled through the shop regaling my unsuspecting twenty-two-year-old with my past memories. Some were things I, or my sister, had owned as we grew up, others were just (nerdy) things I remember or coveted from TV commercials. Wisely, he made suitable sounds of being impressed, bless him.
Just for fun, let’s play a quick game. Did any of you own one or more of these items as a child?
|I grew up watching "Machinga" on Japanese TV|
|Here's the one my son found from his childhood|
|Who didn't want a Pigs in Space lunchbox?|
|If you look closely, you can see the interior of the Falcon|
|I still want one of these!|
|I had this doll house. Still miss it.|
It’s kinda nice to revisit those fun moments of our past, huh? Memories can be a wonderful thing, whether they’re toys, loved ones, or experiences. Since joining the ranks of social media users, I’ve discovered that Facebook loves to remind me of my past. Friendships made, posts, etc. I’ve also observed that at the end of every year there’s a rash of posts proclaiming what a terrible year the current year has been, and that next year can’t come soon enough.
Every. Single. Year.
Certainly, good things happened to everyone during the course of any year, right? Events worth celebrating. Births, marriages, graduations, friendships, vacations, personal milestones, new jobs, time spent helping others, time with family. The list of potential happy moments is endless, and I can't believe social media is populated solely by chronically unhappy people, so why the negativity?
Yes, life is hard, it downright sucks sometimes. But all the time? To the point that it’s all we remember at the end of each year? I write romance because it gives readers a happily ever after (HEA). After all the trials my characters experience, they and my readers still can find hope and believe in the goodness of life.
So, here’s my New Year’s challenge to all of you: This New Year’s Eve, post about the wonderful moments of your life in 2017 on your social media platforms. Share the things that lifted your spirit and gave happiness to others. Celebrate 2017, because even during the worst of times, good things happen. By sharing just one spot of happiness from your life in 2017, you could help someone else pause, reflect, and find the bright moments in their own life over the past twelve months. Write your own HEA to the end of the story called “2017”, because I guarantee you someone out there is looking for it.
May 2018, and every year you walk through during this life, be so blessed that the negative parts fade from your memories. Happy New Year to you all!
(P.S. - Fortunately, my son never asked, “Hey, mom, whatever happened to my <fill in the blank>?” LOL!)
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USA Today Bestselling Author, Lea Kirk, loves to transport her readers to other worlds with her science fiction romance. She's currently working on book three of her popular SFR Prophecy series. She lives in California with her wonderful hubby, their five kids (aka, the nerd herd), and her "baby", an adorable Dobie mix.