Forever Young – Life is a Short Trip, 30 Years Later

“Some are like water, some are like the heat
Some are a melody and some are the beat” – Forever Young, Alphaville

Last night I had the good fortune to reconnect with many of my old classmates from high school at the right of passage known as the 30th high school reunion.

While there, one of my best buddies from back in the day of mullets and Trans-Ams, Brian Kooy, inspired me to start writing again…so here goes.

The older I get, the more I appreciate the fact that I come from small town America.

Where most kids first jobs entailed working in the berry fields and other ag related harvests when we were barely past double digits in our age. (it still pisses me off that I had to get a special ‘waiver’ at the ripe old age of 10 to keep picking/eating strawberries when new child labor laws kicked in:-).

We never locked our doors at home.

We could walk or ride our bikes just about anywhere without our parents worrying to death.

We could drive to school every once in a while with a shotgun in the gun rack if duck hunting looked promising after school.

The entire town turned out to support the football team.

Life was good…

Our graduating class had, if memory serves me correctly, 197 souls.

Like any generation, we’ve lost some along the way.

Lives cut short from any number of varied circumstances.

Here are some thoughts that struck me after last night.

Back then we were more alike than different. All trying to ‘fit in’ in our own special ways.

But largely a homogeneous mix of raging hormones and egos.

30 years later…things morph into a much more beautiful canvas of diversity.

Everyone doing their own ‘art’ and marching to the beat of their own drum, or being the melody in the song of life.

While we are now older and more diverse in our opinions, political affiliations, views on world events etc. it was nice to see that everyone could just pick up where we left off and have a good time.

No posturing, no concern over keeping up with the ‘Joneses’.

People seemed genuinely happy.

I guess that 30 years later it turns out we are mostly just good people, with good hearts, and most of us just want to be loved and appreciated.

Yet we worry about not being loved…about being judged, and that is naturally human.

My encouragement for you is get to know this goodness in yourself.

Because it does not matter what other people think of you, you’re good enough. And a blessing to those you cross paths with.

I am grateful for all who worked to make the event happen and for those who showed up to celebrate our 30th.

May you all stay, Forever Young.

Keep Smiling…Grimmer.

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