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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.

Rendering by porcorex on iStock


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Based on the "hints" in your Ghosting post, it sounds like your recent "romance" wasn't quite a Lady GaGa "bad romance", but, well, a frustrating one.


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Interesting comparison, as years ago Gaga revealed that she is drawn to bad romances, but is not sure if she goes after them or they find her. Regardless, my "relationship" ended in the dating stage and never really became a romance. Either when I dated him almost 30 years ago, or recently. Although, this time, I thought it had potential.


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I was amazed that you were even willing to "rekindle" the relationship as you're not exactly a believer in "recycling" relationships, as I think you once phrased it. In fact, I thought you were pretty adamant about the concept of not repeating your mistakes.
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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

It started when Black sent Red a LinkedIn post about Louis Armstrong, asking her to "connect the dots" (one of Black's favorite things to do). Red knew that he was one of the most distinctive and talented jazz musicians in American history, but it was a complete surprise to learn that he had such a strong connection to a Jewish couple that immigrated from Lithuania and that he wore a Star of David for most of his life to honor them. That alone made it a "truth is stranger than fiction" story. The fact it's also a touching story about kindness and love makes this, at least for Red, even better than fiction.

Black, who prefers the pragmatic aspects of Armstrong's unusual journey – from being an impoverished black boy to an extraordinary career as a musician, singer, and composer – and sees it as a story of overcoming barriers, realizing your potential, and finding freedom (and she discloses an interesting connection between Armstrong and Independence Day).

Our July column, "RED & BLACK … The Sound Of Freedom," connects all those dots and is about so much more than surprising facts about Louis Armstrong. It's also about the power of music, inspiration, and hope, not to mention a very different way of looking at freedom.

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

Everyone laughs and wants to hear the story when I mention that I was recently "ghosted" by someone I had dated. What I find interesting is that ghosting has become so prevalent in today's society (and is not restricted to dating) that there is a term to describe the sudden "disappearance" of someone who wants to avoid all future contact with you.

Going back decades, I know there have been first dates that, at the time, I thought went well. But, after getting the "I'll call you" line … I never did. As a teenager, I can remember anxiously waiting for the phone (a landline tethered to the wall – and yes, I am that old) to ring, not wanting to go out and possibly miss the call. And, being very disappointed by the silence. Now, I cannot even remember who they were.

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