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by Abigail Van Buren

Simple Saying Helps Keep Unhappy Memories in Rearview Mirror

DEAR ABBY: Life hasn't been easy for me. I taught in inner-city schools for 35 years and lost three life partners who were addicted to alcohol and drugs before they died of AIDS. Out of necessity, I had to carry on with my professional life while struggling with my unfortunate personal life.

I'm happily retired now and living a wonderful life in Palm Springs, California. But sometimes I find myself starting to dwell on unhappy memories from my past. When it happens, I have found an effective coping method. It came from a simple mantra a former student of mine posted online: "There's a reason the rearview mirror is so small and the windshield is so large. It's because where you're headed is much more important than where you've been."

Now, when a sad memory comes to mind, I say to myself, "big windshield; small rearview mirror," let go of the unwanted thought and move on. This has been beneficial for my well-being, and I hope it will be for others. -- DESERT JACK

DEAR JACK: I'm glad you shared this. Clinging to loss and sadness isn't healthy for anyone. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to keep the past behind us rather than let it clutter up our present. Thank you for sharing your coping method. I, too, hope it will help readers.

Read more in: Death | Work & School | Addiction | Mental Health