As we wind down the year, I would like to share a couple of thoughts…
Whether you're a "glass half empty", or a "glass half full" type, you still only have one glass in life. A wise person once told me that that glass, where our outlook on life is kept, is also where we keep all of our memories.
The CDC's published average US life expectancy is 77.7 years. If the glass theory is true, with 77.7 average years of memories, you can certainly see how, as we age, it may be easy to forget a few things! When you get to that point, whether you be 60, 70 or 80, you've reached what I call "Memory Glass Overload".
The real question is, can we control the memories we keep in our glass? I like to think that, as we age, we have some control and, with some practice, we can ensure the memories we keep are only the most precious to us. As we age and our lives change, the memories we cherish most change too, and I think it's up to us to make sure our memory glass is only used to house the best and most precious memories of all.
At 35, your memory glass may contain memories of parents, childhood friends and college alumni. You may be lucky enough to have memories of a wedding, the birth of your children, the purchase of a home. Your glass still has plenty of room, just make sure you're not using valuable space to keep memories that aren't worth saving.
At 50, you may have added memories of grandchildren born, career success and 25th anniversary parties. You still have a little room, but caution–it's getting close to full….
At 60, a few memories may start falling out of the glass, and this is where your practice of keeping only the best memories on file will help. As your memory glass starts to overflow, it's up to you to do some routine maintenance that you'll have to continue through the rest of your days. Take a little time, and review what's in that glass. Make sure space isn't being taken up with memories that don't belong. Discard any angry memories and, if you're keeping any sad ones, make sure they're only the most bittersweet, and truly ones you can't live happier without.
Continue this practice of routine maintenance–think of it as memory downsizing–You may need to make some choices, and some of those choices may be difficult, but they will be choices you make. Keeping your memory glass full of only the most beautiful and precious memories is the best defense against those memories that serve no good purpose. On days when you're blue, a little down in the dumps, or feeling a little self-pity, you have the ability to break out your memory glass and enjoy the memories you've stored there. Those are yours for the rest of your days, to share or enjoy as you see fit. They are more valuable than cash and have power to purchase a smile, sometimes when you need it most of all.
As we wind down this year, I've taken some time to review my memory glass. For the first time in a long time, I've made the choice to discard some unhappy memories that were taking up space in my glass. This maintenance has allowed me to make room for new memories. I've spent the last half of this year reexamining what's important in my life and, in the process, I've created some wonderful new friends and some wonderful new memories! For all of you who hold a place in my personal memory glass, I thank you–because I keep only the most precious of memories, it's important to me that you know you hold a very special and important place in my heart.
As you choose how to spend your Holidays, I remind you all the memories you make are those you choose to make. The memories you keep in your glass are chosen by you. Realize the importance of those choices, and be selective with those you keep and hold dear. Oh, and in keeping with my motto, do some routine maintenance from time to time, Because Sometimes–Less is More!
Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!