Will attend my 40th high school class reunion this weekend. Unlike the times when I attended earlier celebrations, I find myself not caring if I impress any of my former classmates. The passage of time has made me more comfortable with who I am and what I’ve accomplished. I am finally at peace with the fact that I have failed more often than I have succeeded. I take comfort in that I at least tried.
I suspect I’m not alone in this attitude. I admit that as a young man just getting started, I often compared my status with others. I felt smug when I learned I was doing better than some and inadequate when I found I had fallen short when measured to another’s accomplishments. I know that sounds shallow, but those were the feelings of an insecure younger man.
Now that I’m retired, I find myself spending more time focusing on my blessings. Driving an expensive new car or owning a large house in an expensive neighborhood no longer matters. The house I live in with my wife, two dogs and two cats holds wonderful memories.
There is a doorframe in the kitchen with marks and dates next to them that tell us how tall our son was at different times in his life. We even have two marks for a close friend of his.
Family photos and certificates of our son’s achievements cover the refrigerator door and sides. My home office has a corner cabinet covered with photos and knickknacks collected over the years.
All the things I’ve mentioned might be junk to someone else, but to me they are treasurers. They bring back memories that make me smile. Sometimes my wife will walk in while I’m reminiscing. We share a moment that only two lovers who have spent a lifetime together can.
As I told a friend of mine during breakfast, I really don’t care how my former classmates see me. I’ve kept in touch with good friends who accepted me for who I was and who I am. I consider them a blessing, too.
Wisdom comes with age. Just wish I could somehow go back in time to tell my younger self not to worry about what others think. Everything is going to turnout okay.