Moving Forward, Looking Back

If you spend any time online (or reading, or watching TV, or just being conscious), you have likely seen and read plenty about the end of the decade—whether it be the debate over whether it really has ended, or identifying the athlete of the decade, or a news story, or great lists like this one. I have no list (and thankfully no mug shot), but the turn of the calendar and the decade certainly provides good fodder. I took the opportunity to read through the turn-of-the-century editions of Massage & Bodywork (M&B), Massage Magazine (MM), and Massage Therapy Journal (MTJ). MM and MTJ each had articles about “the future of touch,” while M&B focused on a more-pragmatic issue of avoiding “Y2k” trouble. The late Robert Noah Calvert wrote an article in MM lauding “The Stars of the Century,” recognizing the leaders of the field in the 1900s (he included himself). An interesting part of the futuristic articles was looking at the names who were asked to comment; many are still the profession’s thought leaders. Most fascinating? The hairstyles (guilty as charged, Lynda and Diana). In a parallel but unrelated exercise, I used some time off over the holiday break to do some much-overdue purging of collected treasures/junk in the Sweeney household. It is an interesting self-examination to look through things from earlier in your life. Invariably, the overriding question becomes, “why do I still have this?” followed by “look at my hair in that picture.” Glad that wasn’t in Massage Magazine. Undertaking an exercise like this, followed up by seeing “Up in The Air” with George Clooney, gets you thinking about what’s in “my backpack.” How much do we really need? It’s a question I can always do a better job of reflecting on than acting on. Our colleague Marissa Macias posted a similar discussion on massageprofessionals.com; she does an excellent job of framing the issue as it relates to our professional lives. For me, the New Year brings excitement—a chance for ABMP to build on its successes, and learn from our challenges; another year of using our role to help advance the profession and its members; personally, the calendar seems to be turning ever more quickly, and spending time with my boys suddenly seems an increasingly elusive goal. What’s exciting is we never know what the calendar has in store for us. Tiger Woods was named athlete of the decade, the same week he was a national punch line. The future of massage will be determined day by day, session by session—not by me, or “leaders of the field,” but by you. Another year is upon us—what do you have in store for it?
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