Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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I don't know about you, but although I knew that 2019 was coming to an end, I hadn't really been thinking about it in terms of the end of a decade. That is, until I started seeing all the newspaper articles and television programs not only running their usual year-end summaries, but also looking back on the entire decade.


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Well, it definitely is not as big a deal as the turn of the century. I remember that everyone was worried about Y2K, and whether there would be serious computer problems related to going from 1999 to 2000. Plus, people were worried there would be a champagne shortage. But, neither of those two "catastrophes" actually happened.


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Seriously? People were actually worried about a champagne shortage?


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Wine producers and retailers probably started the idea of so much celebrating, and not enough champagne. Turns out there were shortages of some of the high-end champagnes in certain places, and overall champagne sales were up significantly.


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I should've guessed that your memories would be business-related.


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In that instance, yes. But, you are the one who likes to travel down memory lane, not I. So, are you reminiscing about the past decade or just the past year?


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Until all the media hype, I hadn't really thought about it being a new decade. But when I did, it was bittersweet because the girls were 10 years younger.


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So were you. So was I.


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But it's different when you're thinking about how quickly your children grow up. Anyway, I understand that you're not nostalgic, and you definitely never play the "what if" game, but I find it hard to believe that you won't reminisce, even a little, over the past 10 years, or even the last year.


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Our past has led us to where we are, and you can learn from it, but that is different from reminiscing. You need to live in the present and know that it will influence the future.


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But how do you learn from the past if you don't take the time – and I'm not saying a large amount of time – to think back about it?


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You do that as you go, you do not think back over an entire year. Or, an entire decade. Especially since those are arbitrary time periods based on calendars.


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When you put it like that, it does seem a little crazy. I guess it does make a lot more sense to just learn and make adjustments as you go vs. letting the "mistakes" pile up.


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You cannot change the past. But, what you do today does impact the future. The key is finding the right balance between savoring the moment and planning for the future.


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You'd think that as we get older, we'd learn to do things better, to approach things better, to just, well, at the risk of sounding like Melania Trump, be better. But for many of us, that's not the case.


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With age comes experience, not wisdom.


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Wow! You're probably going to roll your eyes at this, but I never really thought about it that way. But it's so true. The concept of "learning from your mistakes" is something we hear a lot, especially when we're growing up. Unfortunately, I think that often stops when we become adults.


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Learning should never stop – especially as we can learn from both our "mistakes" and our good experiences. It just takes the desire to do so.


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That sounds good, but for us "mere mortals" it can be a little more difficult, as we tend to do things the way we always have. We get caught up in our day-to-day lives and before you know it another week – another month – another year – another decade has come and gone.


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The older we get, the quicker the years seem to fly by, which makes it even more critical to focus on what is truly important. Identifying your values and priorities, and making sure your decisions align with them.


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You make it sound so easy but, trust me, it's not. Plus, you've always looked 20 years out and worked backward. For many of us that's a totally new way to look at life, especially those of us who like to reminisce.


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At the risk of sounding like a Hallmark card, it is a new year, a time to look forward, not backward. Put another way, there is a reason your front windshield is significantly larger than your rear-view mirror.


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You and your car analogies. But I have to admit it's a great visual. And I'll do my best to keep it in mind. But for now, I still can't believe it's 2020.


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Funny thing is I started to wish you "20/20 vision" in 2020, then realized it refers to "average" vision … and why would I wish anyone an average year?


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For those of us who need glasses, 20/20 is what we strive for, and allows us to see things much clearer.


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In that case, I wish you 20/20 in 2020.

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

Photo courtesy of Red


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I know that you’ve been involved with Make-A-Wish for decades, and it’s an amazing organization, but I’m not sure why you made such a big deal about the recent Texas Gulf Coast & Louisiana chapter ’s dedication of its building. I appreciate that you were part of the planning group, but with all due respect, it’s just a building.

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I don’t expect you to remember that it all started in 1980 when Tommy Austin wanted to do something special for a young boy, Chris Greicius, who was battling leukemia and wanted to be a policeman. That wish became a reality and the start of The Make-A-Wish Foundation.


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That story has always inspired me as it makes you realize the difference that just one person can make. But the building wasn’t named after Chris or Tommy, so I’m still confused.
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I may not celebrate Rosh Hashanah by going to temple, and now that the girls are no longer home for the holiday, I don’t prepare a seder with the traditional foods . But I know and appreciate that it’s one of the most important Jewish holidays, as it’s a time for reflection on the past and hope for the future. And this year, between world events, where I feel surrounded by so much negativity, and on the personal front, with Mom’s passing, it seems more important than ever before.


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Although Rosh Hashanah is filled with traditions, like apples dipped in honey because it is believed apples have healing properties (think of the rhyme, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”), and the honey signifies the hope for a new year that will be sweet … it is still incredibly relevant. In today’s hectic world, a contemplative holiday where you stop and think about the road you have traveled over the last year (including any wrong turns) and where you would like to go in the future may be exactly what we all need.

We wish everyone who celebrates Rosh Hashanah a happy and sweet New Year. And remember, you don’t have to be Jewish to look back and reflect … and then try to do better in the future.

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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So, I had to smile when Sawyer came to visit us at Mom’s estate sale. And even though I had seen her only a few hours before, I gave her a hug.


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Yes, you make it rather obvious that you are warm and fuzzy. And, a hugger.


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But what made me laugh was when she greeted you by acknowledging that you weren’t a hugger. Now there’s an understatement.


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No, it is merely a fact.


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I never realized, though, just how much both Natasha and Sawyer are like you. Although they begrudgingly let me hug them, they’d both be just as happy with a handshake. If that.


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Maybe a fist bump?
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