Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else

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Looking Back to the Future

Merriam-Webster defines nostalgia as “a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition.” Nostalgia is a natural thing. And I don’t think it’s always a negative thing. But it’s something our society, or maybe just my generation, has become obsessed with. It has reached excessive.

Timehop and Facebook’s On this Day to see posts, pictures, and events of past

Reunion Tours to see all the music we grew up listening to (the best music, obviously)

TV Revivals to revisit the good shows, like they don’t make them anymore


Lists, lists and more lists explaining why our childhood was better


Why do we do this? I am the first to say I am absolutely guilty of this. I spent countless hours and amounts of money to make 4 giant scrapbooks documenting 5 years. I have flocked to live shows with Boyz II Men, En Vogue, Garth Brooks, Matchbox 20, Goo Goo Dolls. I check Timehop religiously. And I love listing off things that kids in college don’t understand or know about (the ‘save’ symbol is a floppy disk….). Is it really that things were better than or are we just remembering them being better? It’s like the stories we heard our parents tell over and over…but on steroids because we have physical evidence.

But is this healthy? My answer is that it is to a certain extent. It’s good to have fond memories or even bad memories because we learn from history and from our mistakes. It becomes unhealthy when we fail to enjoy the present or look to the future because we are too busy harping on the past or comparing today to back when. I think we always look back with rose colored glasses. We remember the good things, the great things, the fun things. We downplay, or outright forget, the bad things and trying things.

Now I am not saying I’d prefer my favorite bands of the ’90s to not tour. I will pay for a ticket to their shows over Justin Bieber any day. I do think, though, that we have to be careful to not long for the past or the way things were. The past is the past. We gain nothing by focusing on it too much. Instead, laugh about a picture you see and use it to reconnect with the friend in the picture who you haven’t talked to in a year. Use a memory of a fun activity and recreate it with your friends or family. Enjoy today and make the most of every moment.

cs lewis

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A New Face

Watch this commercial. A man in Israel has had a beard for 14 years – the entire time he’s known his wife and had children. But someone or something convinced him to shave his beard. And the reaction he gets is incredible. He is unrecognizable to his own family.

This got me thinking. I can’t imagine having some physical feature for so long or even acting a certain way for so long that people wouldn’t recognize me without it. Hair would be the most obvious and recognizable feature…but for a woman it would have be pretty extreme change, like going from my current mid-length cut to a true pixie. Someone going from glasses to contacts or vice versa wouldn’t elicit that powerful of a response. Extreme weight loss would definitely count – especially on the shows where they are away from family and friends during the weight loss.

And the other question is would you want to make such a drastic change that your own spouse doesn’t recognize you? Sure, everyone has something about themselves they would change. And I’ll admit, there are times I wouldn’t mind starting anew, being someone different, creating a new me. But to be unrecognizable? I know this is not exactly what this guy did, but perhaps his family had to work to not view him as a different person. Physically at least. Change can be good and bad, especially depending on the reasons for that change. I just think this is fascinating and would love to see a follow-up story – has everyone adjusted to the lack of beard? Does he like it? Is he going to grow it back?

Have you ever made an extreme change that created such surprise and shock? Was the general reaction positive? Negative? Did you regret the change?

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The Language of Love

No relationship is perfect – be it romantic or friendship, there will be ups and downs. There are many ways to show someone that you care – but everyone values those various ways differently. And in any relationship it can be helpful to not only know you’re own preferences, but also the preferences of the other person. For example, some people don’t care about getting actual gifts, but for some people that is how they know to show they care. I had heard of the 5 love languages a while ago and had discussions with friends about what their language was, but I just recently did my own profile.

Gary Chapman is a marriage guru and created the love languages series. You can take the survey for free on the website and you can find out what language has the most meaning for you. There are 5 love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. And I think it’s pretty accurate. I had a tie between two: quality time and words of affirmation (described below). Not surprised at all. I’ve added the book to my list so will report back on that after reading – there’s even a singles edition.

Are you single? Learn what your languages mean the most to you and use that info in friendships and future relationships. In a relationship or married? Learn your language and your significant others’ language. Read the description for what matters to them so you can show them you care in the most meaningful way for them. Why would you not want to do that?