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Memories ... and the way we will be!

When I was a teen, one of the hit songs of the time was “The Way We Were” by Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman and Marvin Hamlisch, sung by Barbra Streisand in a movie of the same name. The lyrics are iconic:

“Memories … light the corners of my mind; Misty water-colored memories of the way we were. Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind. Smiles we gave to one another, for the way we were.

Can it be that it was all so simple then? Or has time rewritten every line? If we had the chance to do it all again, Tell me, would we? Could we?

Memories … may be beautiful and yet, What's too painful to remember We simply choose to forget. So it's the laughter we will remember Whenever we remember The way we were. The way we were.”

It’s the beginning of a new year, and that almost always drives me to reflect. Not only is it a new year, this 2020, but it’s also a new decade.

Even more reflection.

Within the last decade I’ve traveled to roughly 25 foreign countries, but stayed in the same house, with the same two dogs, two sons and husband. I’ve created and worked at Sanctuary Christian Counseling, but I’ve remained a licensed marriage and family therapist. I’ve loved my same friends, and nearly lost my dear husband to pancreatitis. I’ve learned a lot, but also become aware of how much I have yet to learn. I’ve tried to plan for retirement, while I realize it’s further away than I’d like. It’s been a busy ten years.

What will the next ten years be like?

There’s no way to know. However, I do know there are some things I can do to make the memories I hope to have in 2030 good ones. Here are some suggestions:

  • Think now about what you want to focus on for the next ten years. That can be overwhelming, but can be chunked down so that you only think of the next year … the next two years … the next five years. If need be, take it a month or six at a time. The important idea is that you actually become intentional about the kinds of results you’d like to see in the next ten years.

  • Make the people in your life your priority. We can so easily get lost in our busyness, our screens, our own stuff that we don’t give the people around us the priority they should have. But friends and family and our interactions are the things we remember most when we reflect on our memories. Make time for people.

  • Plan to increase proficiency in your chosen vocation, craft, hobby or sport. Malcolm Gladwell, in his book notes that it takes about 10,000 hours of diligent practice to master any given talent – this is about four and a half years of 40-hour work weeks, but far less than ten years. Pick something and be intentional about making yourself excel in it.

  • Make your intimate relationships warm, wonderful and special, whatever that may take. There’s nothing like having that couple closeness, and you can foster it with good decisions, hard work, love and grace. If you can’t, and you struggle in this area, get help sooner rather than later from someone like the therapists at Sanctuary Christian Counseling. Life is too short to be miserable.

  • Make this the decade you get control of…. Something. Your finances. Your health. Your love life. Your education. Your parenting. Take some positive action to move forward, and try not to surround yourself with negativity.

  • Make reflection a habit. Think things through – what did you like or not like about the past decade? The past year? The past month? What did you do well with, and what would you like to improve, or, conversely, let go of? Having a regular habit of reflection can help you identify and actually make big changes, and small ones, too.

  • Don’t forget to learn and grow. It doesn’t have to include formal education (but it could) but don’t let your mind and imagination stagnate. You are more than a Candy Crush-ing monster – you are a thinking human being. Find something you’re interested in and study it.

As I write this, I’m challenging myself to consider these steps as well.

As Bill Gates said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.” 2030 will be here seemingly in a blink of our eyes – let’s not underestimate the changes that are possible by then!

If you are struggling with something you don’t want to have color the next decade, give us a call. We help grieving individuals, distressed teens and couples in conflict find peace, solutions and connection.

Sanctuary Christian Counseling

9974 Molly Pitcher Highway, Suite 4

Shippensburg, PA 17257


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