Tricks of Memory

I’ve got another ear worm. One I’ve had before. And as we all know, the best way to eliminate an ear worm is to share it. And this is one I’ve shared before (and likely will again).

This particular musical phrase came upon me when something that I came across led me to think about that tendency we have to look back fondly on a past that very likely never was. Like the song says: “I respectfully decline to spend my future living in the past”. Yes, some things were better, but some were worse, and being human, we tend to overrate, the good, and minimize, or even forget, the bad. Just as worrying too much about things that haven’t happened, and may not, prevents us from truly living in the now (yes, we still have to make plans), wishing things were back the way they were at some mythical point in the past keeps us from experiencing where we are now.

The past is never what sentimental nostalgia leads you to believe it was. You can’t stop progress. You can’t turn the clock back. And if you could, you’d likely find that there were many not-so-great things that you’d conveniently forgotten about.

The music for this song is disturbingly reminiscent of the achy breaky thing, but Don Henley has always been a great source for lyrics that get straight to the point.


“And though nostalgia is fine, I respectfully decline
To spend my future living in the past”

— Don Henley, No Thank You



Image borrowed from




2 thoughts on “Tricks of Memory”

  1. “No icicles are on the tree. There’s none for you and none for me. It doesn’t seem as real as then- there used to be no fear of when.”

    I may not remember the facts… but I remember the feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

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