This summer, Lake Linden Hubbell High School is having an all-school reunion and it just happens to be my graduating class' (the class of 1987) 25th high school reunion.
We're not having a normal, planned, "who can top whom" event with the entire where, what, when and how's of our lives, but I still have some reservations about attending. This won't come to a shock to most but I was a dork, nerd, band geek and a smelly kid at different times in my life and quite frankly, I didn't peak in high school. I'm loosely part of the organizing body of this event along with a couple of women that I've known most of my life so that aspect is comfortable.
What's not comfortable from a psychological perspective is that I'm not that same nerdy, stinky child who ran from bullies and joked his way out of many a dangerous situation (OK, so I still can joke my way out of trouble my attitude gets me into), but rather I'm an adult who can look back and see the turning points in my life that have made me the man I am today. The "not comfortable" portion of this reunion is that memories don't age; anyone who hasn't seen me in the 25 years or has seen me sparingly has no idea of how things have changed.
So where am I going with this? Like just about everyone from high school I've gained weight, lost hair and have a series of aches and pains. My concern is how to avoid whining about the physical passing of time and its damages and also how to avoid bragging about the good things in life. The good things are that I've achieved just about every goal I've set. Naming them isn't something I'll do, but those that really know me know the time and transformation of self that I've had to go through. I learned a lesson once from a woman with a full plate of life's work from taking care of people who were ill to her own physical concerns. I asked her once, "How's it going," meaning how can you be chopping wood with one arm in a sling? Her answer: "It doesn't pay to complain." Ever since that day, I've lived that lesson. I'm recovering from an injury as I write this column and my biggest concern is that this injury has taken away my ability to play basketball (some would argue what ability), but the injury hasn't taken away my ability to simply live; it doesn't pay to complain.
Our blessing as a class is that everyone is still alive 25 years after walking down that aisle and receiving our diplomas, and I'm hoping that doesn't change in the 30-some odd days before our reunion. I know that not everyone will show up but to those that do, I will be happy to listen to your stories of your successes and failures, your loves and losses and to compare weight gain and hair loss. I'll do so knowing that life has been a box of chocolates with some smooth times, some nutty times and times where I wished I would have never bitten into. But all in all, life has been good to me and as those celebrating their 50th reunion might say, any day upright and above ground is a good day.
Brian Foreman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.