What's up with continually looking back on memories and the way things used to be? Why do I do it so much it takes up all the space under my bed and prevents my clothing from hanging properly in my closet? I'd like to think that I'm not the only one. The thing is, I'm not sure one can train themselves to think less of those past years... or even if we want to. I don't know about you but I find comfort and a sense of peace when I look back. It's like those good times can't get messed up and the feelings that attach with it, are ones that won't get snatched away. It's safe. But along with these happy feelings, a longing tends to squirm and it's movements echo throughout our body. However small this longing may be, our minds usually catch feel of it. When I decided to look into the bottom of my memory box I found that a lot of the photos and clippings, the receipts and the trinkets were from a certain town. I realized that the destination of my rides to the past, were pretty darn predictable. Memory lane? Talk about a highway engrossed with directional speed. Zooming down tootsie roll roads,over a few hills and home-made pizza bridges, ending up in the town of Two Thousand and Seven. Almost every single time. Why there? The memory destination for each of us is of course, different. It is not just because of the parts of the world we are in, nor our personal experiences but because of what we value in life. Our interests and our values determine what lies at the bottom of our memory box which in turn, determines where we arrive when we travel back. Do we have a choice of where the Memory trucks go? Instead of revisiting the streets and buildings of Two Thousand and Seven, can we journey beyond that town and into another? We certainly can. The roads there may be of different texture, and various memories that you had forgotten could be located in oncoming traffic. These memories may produce feelings you weren't expecting and may alter your course but eventually you get there. Looking around we see things we are familiar with. This town is full of people to.The smiles and interactions, the trees and the sidewalks. And the things you notice matter. Even though it may be another year of memories, with perhaps a different country under your feet or a person gone-someone who was always in your memories before,there is a connection between all your memory box pieces. What do you value in life? Let's say you have children now and you value them the most. The value doesn't necessarily change in your memories and moments before they were born,the care and devotion just gets focused elsewhere. The strongest feeling you get when you think of your children, was dispersed elsewhere before you had them.Perhaps you showed your husband more care and attention because you liked his dependence on you. You valued feeling worthy and needed that connection to feel loved. Maybe you value relationships, friendships. Even though there are people who are in your life only for a day or a week it does not make them incapable of impacting you. Isn't that kind of neat to think about? Some of course, are with you through a longer period of time and those inevitably influence who you are. Sometimes we take on their morals and ways of thinking, sometimes we may almost lose our individuality. The point is, the memories we continue to go back to are generally ones that contain what we value most in life. For me, Two Thousand and Seven has streets filled with incredible realizations based on the people who were around me. The discovery of friendships as well as that long-lasting knowledge. So much love that seems to seep out from every corner and building of that Memory town when I visit. Why does it always seem so much better when I look back? Why wasnt it just as good then? When I was actually in that year with those people? Most of us are familiar with the lyric,' we don't know what we've got until it's gone'. I believe that can pertain to the reasoning but I also believe if we were thinking about those moments the way we do now, while BEING in those moments, it would change them completely, if not lose them. Our awe could freeze us, our blinking eyes could miss the minutes and our present days would be altered drastically. It's okay to look back on those good times and reminisce of all the fun things you used to do, but how healthy is it if it is preventing these current days of great potential from occurring? Which brings me to my final point. What about the days we are living now? Are we so absorbed in the past that we are faltering in our present? Are we trying to capture the good feelings we assume we will feel years later on-about these current moments? Are we freezing up because we are afraid that what we value may disappear? It is sad to think that distance may grow between a best friend you had or that someone you cared about will stop spending as much time with you. Somethings are within our control and others are simply not. What I want us to do is figure out our values. Whether we have to take a few trips to our memory box or whether we already know,once those values are established we must plant them in our daily lives. We need to make country hills full of this stuff so that we can smell it wherever we go. Our crop must be visited everyday. We must nourish the seeds, the leaves, and the flower. We must care for them with delicate compassion and respect for our values determine our happiness. By focusing on them, we will feel fulfilled and the lungs of our daily lives will enable a strength that allows us to dance for a lifetime in the presence of what we value most. The more we stay focused on what we care about the most, the better the chance we will start living days we embrace with our whole heart.