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THE DIFFERENCE A DECADE MAKES
With the New Year fast approaching, I find myself thinking a lot about the past. After all, it’s not just the year coming to an end — it’s the end of the decade. I think we can all agree the 2010s were a roller coaster ride, especially when you look back to where we were at the start. Remembering just the way things were for my own family 10 years ago feels like imagining a different world entirely. Our clinic was certainly different. Back then, it was just Emilie and me against the world. Those were definitely heady days, wondering if we could make it as our own business owners — but slowly it became clear we were building something special. We got to know more and more patients, who in turn got to know us and little Zack and Nathan. Still, if you’d traveled back in time and told me we’d have a team of five therapists and a fantastic community of patients who have become lifelong friends, I may not have believed you. And, of course, our clinic isn’t the only thing that’s grown. At 14 and 12, Zach and Nathan certainly aren’t little anymore. Now they have clubs, sports, and activities as they become young adults — and to think I thought they were a handful at 4 and 2! Even Christmas shopping for them has become utterly different.
This is what really drives home how much has changed for me: In Christmases past, Emilie and I would do our shopping at Toys “R” Us! Now, not only do the boys want drastically different kinds of gifts, but the store we used to buy them in doesn’t even exist anymore! Online shopping may have its conveniences, but I can’t help but feel we’ve lost some of the magic from the old days. I remember how Emilie and I would stride confidently into the Toys “R” Us, determined to stick to the budget I had drawn up — only for me to break that budget within the hour. That was the thing with shopping for boys: I always found stuff I wanted to play with, too! One year we found these marshmallow shooters and just had to get them. On Christmas Day, we ended up running around the whole house having a war with the little sugar puffballs. I miss those days. Even our physical house has gone through some changes in the past 10 years. As I write, we have a crew redoing part of our kitchen, including putting in a new stove. This will be just in time, too, since we’re supposed to host Christmas dinner this year! Every time we hold the meal at our house, I attempt to make a prime rib though the process always takes longer than I think it’s going to. I’ve always blamed our stove, so maybe this
year will be different. Starting the meal on time will certainly be a change we’d all be happy with! Things have definitely shifted over the years; some of the changes have been good, and some make me miss the old days. However, I realize some traditions have stayed the same over the years, like how we decorate our Christmas tree. Every year shortly after Thanksgiving, we break out the box of ornaments and hang the decorations we’ve collected over the years. Some are gifts from when the boys were born, some are new, and they all come together to make an interesting collection. They may not all match, but each one comes with its own special memories, and together they make the tree beautiful and unique. Not that I want to get too profound here, but I think those decorations are a good reminder of how to appreciate change. Sure, families grow and life can feel different — but we’ll always have the good memories of the way things were, and we’re always making new ones along the way. They all combine to make something very special we get to enjoy in the present.
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