Walking Backwards: Looking Forward

“Nobody gets to live life backwards.
Look ahead that’s where your future lies.”
Ann Landers (pen name of Columnist Ruth Crowley)  1907-1955

I haven’t really thought about my Grandmother (I had only one) for several years. Very occasionally, she will come up in conversation when I remember something she said or did.  But today when climbing up the stairs, I thought of her. Currently, after being back-ended by the following vehicle, I am having a little difficulty in climbing the stairs and I remembered Grandma. I always thought of her as Alice Maude but no way all those years ago, would I have called her that.

I remember she always walked down the stairs backwards.  This seemed in no way unusual to us. We had only ever seen her descending in this way.  And even now, I have no idea why she did so.  Was she scared to look ahead and maybe lose her footing?

Over the past few weeks I have found myself looking back, sometimes more than looking forward.  There are many things in my life to look back on with pleasure, with gratitude and yes, also with longing.  So am I scared to look ahead in case I lose my footing?

Looking back doesn’t really solve any problems for any of us.  We only have today.  And we have all heard the quote – “Yesterday is the past; tomorrow is the future; today is the present.  So use it as a gift.”  I don’t know when or where I first heard that but it is so very true.  And I wonder who penned it originally.

And we know that today really is the first day of the rest of our life.  And we do not know how many more days we have left to live. So I am making the most of the time I have left in this wonderful world. And, oh yes, Pollyanna is alive and well and living in Wellington, New Zealand.

“Come to the edge, he said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge, he said.
They came.
He pushed them and they flew. “

Guillaume Apollinaire, French poet, playwright,
short story writer, novelist, and art critic 
1880 – 1918

JB October 10, 2022
Wellington, New Zealand

29 thoughts on “Walking Backwards: Looking Forward”

  1. Sometimes when looking back, or rather when a memory from the past pounces on me, I find there is some hidden treasure there, something to plough into the present and to make good compost. As a writer about the art of getting older, I am delighted to discover your blog after we met on Celi’s blog. I am in Auckland. Nice to make contact!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have been over to your site. How interesting. For many years I wore a life coach hat and many of the things you say ring bells with me. Glad to have met you and let’s keep in touch


      1. Yes, likewise. I can see that we have a lot in common, apart from both being JB. You might like to look at my two ‘Seasons of Life’ books on my books page. The second one is being launched on 17 Oct on zoom & I’d love to send you an invitation.


      2. Unfortunately or may I say fortunate for me, I’m off to Bali for seven days on the 17th so I will miss your zoom launch. I will certainly go to look at your books page


      1. I like to think now at my vast age I can learn so much from looking back. But I am also looking forward with joy and expectation. Thank you for your comment


  2. I am glad, that I still remember a lot of things about my long, lomg life. 🙂
    To do my best with what is left of my life, does not come easy a lot of the time, but I try to do whatever I can still do to make the rest of my life as meaningful and joyful as possible. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful perspective! It is common for the elderly to come down stairs backwards. To face forward often is too spacial (if that is a word) and disorientating. Backwards is easier to focus on the movement of one step down at a time. Looking backward in memories can be comforting but I also find wisdom there. Thanks for a great post! Reblogging to Bridgesburning

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I never knew any other old person and 60 was old then, who walked backwards down the stairs. And I don’t know anybody of my age who does so. Interesting comment. Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Even though she lived with us for the last years of her life I don’t think anybody ask her why she was walking backwards down the stairs. Doesn’t appeal to me as I’m sure I would fall flat on my back at the bottom. Thanks for your comment

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I had two grandmothers but was closer to one than the other. Unfortunately, she left us way too early, at age 68. She comes to mind often, especially when I am baking, kneading dough or hanging laundry. She is still very much a part of me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My grandmother died when she was 62 but in the last few years of her life she lived with us. So she was very much part of our lives but she was still alive when I left London. But she was an old lady even at 60 and really didn’t do much around the house to help mother. These memories are very important to usAnd we need to share them

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      1. I agree! My other Grandmother lived to be 92, although she always claimed to be in poor health. She was old by 50. I think back then getting old was a badge of honour.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I don’t know about honour, but I do know how lucky I am to have lived as long as I have.My husband was in his 68th year. So young and so many years missed. Thanks for commenting.I’m glad your remaining grandmother lived for so long.

        Liked by 2 people

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