November 9, 2018

Friday Thought: “Glorifying the Past is the Thief of Joy…”

Louis Vuitton store for Friday thought

I know the title of this post is a little odd, but hear me out. The other day, I was listening to The Tim Ferriss Podcast and one of the episodes is taken over by a special guest, A.J. Jacobs. The title of the episode is “10 Strategies Be Happier Through Gratitude.” I won’t go into all of the strategies, but rather, one that really resonated with me: “Thou Shalt Not Have Nostalgia.” 

I often find myself, and I know I’m not alone, longingly thinking about the past. You know, “the good old days.” I’ll have conversations with loved ones that go something like “oh! remember when we went to Miami and how wild and carefree we were.” Or even when it comes to motherhood, I find myself getting sad at how fleeting time is. I’ll stare at pictures of Nate from a year ago and look at him and think “where did my baby go?” I know this all just part of human nature, but it’s not necessarily a healthy thought process. As Jacobs puts it in his episode:

Friday Thought: “Glorifying the Past is a Thief of Joy.” 

Of course it is 100% normal to think fondly of the past, but how about today? Today is great in its own different ways and in a few years down the line, we’ll be thinking of today the same way we thought about “the good old days.”

Like I said, I know these are some random thoughts, but it resonated with me so much, I just had to share! So next time you get overly nostalgic and feel sad, try to remember that “glorifying the past is a thief of joy.” I hope that resonates with some of you, as much as it did with me!

Anyhoo, wishing you all the best weekend! Below are some great links and sales that are currently happening:

The 10 Commandments of Friendsgiving.

This week alone, I made this pumpkin banana bread two times. I appreciate that it’s  healthier than normal banana/pumpkin breads, but still gets you into the seasonal spirit. Tip: I add a teaspoon of pumpkin spice to give it more of a fall feel. It’s been a huge hit with Nate and I feel way better about giving him a piece of this than something store bought.

This under $100 sock bootie comes in 4 colors perfect for fall/winter.

Anyone starting to decorate for the holidays already? Here’s what science is saying about your personality if you’re getting into the spirit this early.

Anthro is having 20% off all homeThese monogram candles are on sale and would make the perfect stocking stuffer. Also, these monogram journals. 

Should you take your shoes off while in the house?

I swear by this jewelry cleaner.

7 tips for raising grateful children.

One of my favorite (& healthy) cauliflower recipes.

Looks like Black Friday is coming early this month!

Can’t get enough of this color – budget-friendly styles here & here.



  • Samantha

    “Glorifying the past is a thief of joy.” So true. Thanks for sharing that. I’ve learned of some wonderful podcasts because of you.

  • Peppermint Dolly

    Love the “thief of joy” quote – fantastic!

    Rebecca |

  • jane

    I do love this thought of glorifying the past taking away of the joy of today. I think we all need to live in the now a bit more!

    Also not sure why the whole taking the shoes off is even a question? YES? Take them off. Is that a Canadian thing? I mean I am not going to track snow through the house so clearly I take my shoes off lol.

  • Rena

    I love simply my life how it is and I am not a fan of nostalgia corresponding my life 🙂
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  • CamilleK

    Trying my best each day to focus on the present and just simply be present. It’s tough but it’s worth it:)

  • Sel

    I think glorifying the past is damaging but reminiscing on the past is helpful. I think there is a distinction between the two. When we glorify the past, we often focus on the good and ignore or block out the bad. When I reminisce on my life, I think about the good and bad. Too often we want to ignore the bad because it is uncomfortable and painful. But, for me, the most difficult and painful times have resulted in the greatest growth. Adversity leads to growth, strength and wisdom. As a society, I feel that we don’t spend enough time reminiscing on the past because, if we did, maybe we would not keep making the same mistakes. Our past is important, it is a teacher. And, too often, on an individual and societal level we tend to ignore it. My thoughts.

    • Helena

      Hi Sel,
      Very very true! Love where your thoughts are.

  • Weekend Reading | 11.10.18 - The Stripe

    […] liked hearing Helena’s thoughts on nostalgia as this is something I do as […]

  • Rach

    Wow, I needed that reminder. I always look back think about how much better, easier it was before. But it is true and we have to embrace the present.

  • Anika May

    Love that quote! I’m totally going to keep that in mind, thanks so much for sharing and the links!

    Anika |

  • Fortune Dushey

    Great post! I have been doing a lot of – glorifying the past – which definitely does not help me enjoy the present moment. Thank you for this perspective!

  • Camille

    I only think having nostalgia is unhealthy if that feeling doesn’t go away or you can’t let go of the past. I think reminiscing about happy times is fine as long as people are making sure they are living their today to the fullest as well . So yeah, what you said! This was a great reminder.

  • Abella james

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  • Samantha

    LOVE! I so needed this. I often look back at photos of my now 15-month-old as a newborn and get misty=eyed thinking about how quickly that time came and went. But then I have to force myself to remember how much breastfeeding sucked, the crippling fear of SIDS I had at the time, and what an emotional wreck I was from baby blues. That period of time was special, but watching my baby become a toddler is also incredibly cool and fun! I can’t waste it away reminiscing.

  • court

    The saying “the past is a thief” is in the novel The View From Pompey’s Head, a bestseller from long ago by Hamilton Basso. It was made into a pretty good movie with Dana Wynter. The notion is the same — that thinking too much about the past can diminish one’s ability to enjoy the present.

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