Reflecting upon the past and learning from the journey

I often tell others that each of the stops along my way have made me the person I have become today.  A set of upcoming experiences is preparing me for a pair of opportunities that will not only take me down memory lane, but they are also helping me gain valuable knowledge of just how these times in my life have had such positive impacts on who I have become.  Let me share a little about each one of these upcoming events so you can learn more.

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Sunday June 26, 2016 may just be another day for many people.  For me it will be a great opportunity to reconnect and share memories with many of my closest relatives as we celebrate a rare and blessed event.  This event will be the 70th wedding anniversary of my aunt and uncle, Evelyn and Gregory Fitzpatrick.  Staying married is an accomplishment for most of us in the world we live in today, but to stay together for 70 years is a truly remarkable accomplishment.  Evelyn and Gregory, better known as "Aunt Bennie and Uncle Greg" to most of us had a strong impact on my life as a young man growing up in the Central part of Illinois.  My dad had four sisters and three of them lived within one block of us growing up.  We grew up in an environment where we were cared for by " the family" in "The Valley", not just by our parents.  None of us ever locked our doors and we always had someone to turn to when there was a need.  Many times I would stay with them when my parents were gone and I cannot tell you how many rides to and from school they provided as we grew up.  Uncle Greg was also the scoutmaster of the first Boy Scout troop I ever came into contact with and their impact can never be fully measured on my life.  I could never thank them enough for all that they have done over the 57 years I have been on this earth.

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The second experience will be the 20th anniversary of the Robertson County YMCA in Springfield, TN.  I was fortunate to be one of three stubborn volunteers who got the ball rolling back in 1990 and this effort, joined by so many others in this community just north of Nashville, changed my life in so many ways.  Through this effort I first learned about the value of community building, the importance of charitable giving, and the impact of bringing people together from different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.  Many of the best friends, and clients, I have today came from this experience with the Y.

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I'll try to say more about each of these when I get on the other side of each event.

The moral of the story is this:  every experience, every project you are involved in changes you in some way and prepares you for something else that is coming down the pike.

Take the time to reflect both during and after each experience.  Even the painful ones can make a profound difference if you are willing to explore, reflect and cherish them.

I have added a few photos from each even to this post.  I'll try to add more from the events after they occur.

What events or experiences have you gone through that have changed you and your life?  Let me know more about your experiences by commenting on this post.