I love what I do for a living. Like anyone in any profession, however, we all need a breather from time to time.
That’s why taking some time off, even a day here or there, is vital. It’s important to help recharge the batteries.
Such was the case for me last Friday when I mapped out a day off. I had looked forward to it all week. I was anxious to venture back to my hometown and watch my alma mater compete in the football playoffs. My old school has enjoyed quite a season to this point, no losses, steamrolling opponents and, quite frankly, is on a path to possibly winning its first ever football state title.
The day was all one could ask for weather wise. Much too warm for November, I enjoyed the sun’s rays as I sat in the parking lot at a restaurant in a city just a stretch from my hometown. I was meeting a childhood friend for lunch. Catching up with old friends is something I’ve been blessed to enjoy in recent weeks and months. Communication is so easy these days with e-mail, Facebook and texting that you really have no excuse not talking with those you care about.
We had a great time visiting during our two-hour lunch. Talking about childhood memories, the crazy things we did when we were young, wondering just how in the world we are almost 40 years old now and talking about other special friends, some unfortunately no longer with us, but who are remembered with each new day. Life gets away, but it is important to remember those who are special to us and who will always be tied to our past.
After visiting with the folks for a couple of hours, I made my way to my old high school for the game. Some things have changed about the school since I graduated more than 20 years ago. Improvements to the buildings have been made and a nice playground for the younger students beats what we had many moons ago.
Still, many things were the same including the old football fieldhouse to the stadium itself. As I stood on the sidelines taking notes to write a story about the contest, I found it hard to imagine so much time had elapsed since I was in school. Watching the players compete on the field, it’s strange to realize when I was a student in high school, none of them were born.
Many of my former schoolmates have children attending our school now. Once again, I find it strange to wrap my mind around it. Time ticking and passing and somehow getting away. In talking with those friends, it helps that gap of time disappear.
High school is a great time. To me, it was probably the best time. Glory days, as Bruce Springsteen wrote about in his 1984 song, is something I can relate to. My better half laughs at me whenever we hear the song on the radio.
I’ve always tried to tell high school students to enjoy the time they are currently living in. Seize every moment, every memory for all you can. It won’t last forever, but the memories made now will remain 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now.
Life takes us all in different directions. We do all we can to stay in touch but it’s not always possible, life being what it is.
That’s why I have been trying to make more of an effort to do so these days. In recent weeks, I’ve done so with two childhood friends and fortunately we were able to pick up with no gaps in time. Perhaps that’s what makes friendship the special thing it is. True friendship never really ends.
As I made the hour drive back home late last Friday night, many things raced through my mind. High school memories, good friends, life getting away and remembering all that’s truly important. Sometimes you do have to go back to clear your mind and help you realize that the little things in life are what’s important. For that reason, my trip was a needed one last week.
Chris Bridges is editor of the Barrow Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.