Saturday was my birthday. Thankfully, God saw fit to grant me another trip around the sun. Not everybody gets that gift. This gave cause to some inner reflection.
Let’s jump from there to the fact that I have always been fascinated by the concept of time travel. It probably started with reading H.G. Wells as a child and then seeing the 1960 movie version of the Time Machine.
Most recently I picked up a copy of Stephen King’s time travel novel, 11/23/63. It tells the story of a high school English teacher who discovers a rift in time and attempts to go back and prevent the Kennedy assassination. In his epilogue, Stephen King pointed his readers to Jack Finney’s Time and Again that he called it the “THE great time-travel story.”
Naturally, I picked up a copy of Finney’s tome and understood immediately why King raved about it. In it, Si Morley, the protagonist, is a government agent who in a secret experiment is transported to New York in 1882. The whole concept of being able to experience New York City in 1882 to me is mind staggering. It is a journey I would love to take.
My own time travel adventure was not as quite as extensive. I recently traveled to the Boston Massachusetts area in 1967. The time travel vehicle that got me back to 1967 was my reunion at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts.
College is such a unique time of life when we leave the familial nest, are full of hope and ambition, and we are thrown into a totally new environment. We meet new people, make new friends, face new challenges, and establish alliances. We grow as people; sometimes we stumble with our newfound freedom and hopefully our friends are there to pick us up. We hopefully learn to deal with our own maturation process, everybody at a different pace.
Attending college in the late 60’s meant we had the BEST music, the WORST clothes, and the MOST fun. We were Teflon, none of our missteps stuck to us like the children of the new millennium. It was like our generation was granted a free get-out-of-jail card. Many played that card. It was the era of the “second chance.”
Friendships were made and kept. As a group, we weren’t as competitive career wise as later generations proved to be. When we got together infrequently after college, the conversation wasn’t about careers and money, but rather family, friends and children. After college, we went our ways in many different directions, both geographically and in our professions. We all have aged and several have passed away which reminds us of the fragility of life and the shortness of our time here.
I have just returned from spending three wonderful days with many of the people I shared those formative years with at Stonehill. We reconnected, we laughed, we cried, and we missed those who couldn’t make it. It was time well spent. We made promises to stay in touch and vowed to come together again in five more years for our next reunion. We talked about people we missed and vowed to make sure we talked them into coming to the next gathering.
The oddest thing is that in my mind, when I think of my former classmates I still see them as they were in 1967; young, vibrant, full of life and hope, no wrinkles, no extra poundage and that healthy look of youth. I hope I never lose that ability.
In business, all we read about is ‘close the deal,’ ‘bill more hours,’ ‘land that new client.’ These sentiments are all well and good and have a place. I am also going to suggest we make time in our lives for the people we care about. The proverbial stop and smell the roses.
We only get so many trips around that big yellow orb in the sky, so we need to make sure we maximize the time we have here and let the people we care about know they count and how we feel about them.
Until the next time. . . .