It is wistful - which is a combination of both - happy to have had something and sad that it's gone.
One of the saddest.
Both happy and sad. But maybe more heavily weighted on sad, since the experience has passed, and you're unlikely to recapture it.
The Casper cartoon theme always makes me nostalgic for summer vacations with my family when I was growing up. We would go to Cape Cod, and when the family got home from the beach, the kids would watch Casper on one of the Boston channels. We always read the comics, but they didn't air the cartoon where we lived, so it was our only opportunity to watch it. Anyway, the theme always makes me think back to the great times I had as a kid on my summer vacations.
Nostalgia is not an emotion. It is a feeling. Or didn't you know there's a difference?
By definition nostalgia is "happy" or "sad" (ugh) based on how it is admixed with resignation and informed by understanding. Usually it is "sad" (ugh) because people tend to focus on the loss of the good in time because it is unreclaimable in fact.
But I, for example, am nostalgic about the lost Arcadia of the DL as it ought to have been and as it shines in its lost golden light. However, I am "happy" (ugh) because in the present I can call you a dumbass.
Have another hit, R5.
"I hate nostalgia. I didn't like it then and I don't like it now."
Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.
The only time I have nostalgia is when I think about my handsome,sweet and very straight youth pastor and how hopelessly in love with him I was and how much I wish my first sexual experience could have been with him.
There's something very wistful about knowing that if the feelings had been reciprocated I would have wanted to stay with him the rest of my life.
If it weren't for nostalgia, I wouldn't have no algia at all.
Funny, having grown up in the 1970s, I have a different definition of nostalgia. None of us were around for 1930s movies, Edwardian lingerie dresses, Gibson girls, or the Arrow Shirt Man. There was no longing or sadness. It was just happy fun.
Warm and fuzzy. Happy to be sad.
Nostalgia can be happy, sad, or both.
Nostalgia is bittersweet. It's a whispering sense of loss of something we may not knew the full value or expression of in the past present moment. It's a slight ache in the heart that's not entirely unpleasant. Nostalgia can have you both laughing and crying at the same time.
R11, yes. If you're feeling nostalgia for things you never experienced, your definition is different from my own. Critically different, really, and it makes no difference when you were born.
Mark Twain said that nostalgia was mental and moral masturbation.
So, he didn't really approve, though masturbation is now viewed more practically.
Happy rather than sad, then - though 'wanker' isn't a term of appreciation.