Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Commencing... everything!

Wow... an incredibly busy month for me. THREE trips to Maryland from Upstate New York! and I'm sure I put 5000 miles on my car!

The first trip, we celebrated birthdays and Mother's Day in May. HA! Sister's birthday May 10th (she turned 50), Mom turned 79 on the 11th, my oldest grandson was 12 on the 12th, and Mothers Day was on the 13th. HELLO! That's a lot of celebrating !
(unfortunately grandson got the short end, but his mom threw a party for him the next weekend.)

A week later I was back for a graduation ceremony -- 9:00 a.m. on a
Thursday morning? -- and the party wasn't until Saturday, and I could NOT leave before the party! Back home for 3 days, then BACK to Maryland for my baby boy's wedding. Man, when did he grow up? From knucklehead high schooler to cool grown up to.... husband! Whew? But it was fun. His wife is awesome and her parents were awesome and we just had a great time. Photos here if you're interested :-)

I'm a photographer, and I used to photograph a lot of weddings, so I got to hear the wedding vows
every weekend or couple of weekends, and it used to keep those words fresh in my mind. I believe it helped hold my (last) marriage together, as long as it did. Spaced repetition -- you've heard me say it before.

Well... part of my many travels last month was my niece's high school graduation. Not just any niece, mind you, but my baby sister's ONLY child, so you know there's no way on the planet I would miss that one. Besides, I'm her favorite uncle -- not that she ever actually said that... exactly (cough), but I just "assumed the position" :-) and she was kind enough not to contradict me (see? still respect for one's elders out there. LOL.)

Anyway, it had been a couple of years since I'd attended a commencement, and while I was sitting there listening to the speakers speak, I got pretty jazzed, listening to them telling all those young people about achieving their dreams and goals and working for humanity and don't let anything stop you and remember your strengths and you can do it! It took me back and made me remember other commencement ceremonies and other dreams and ... well, I just started thinking
how nice it would be if, like hearing those wedding vows every couple of weeks, we could all hear a commencement address every few weeks or so, and stay plugged into that incredible HOPE and enthusiasm and fervor that graduating seniors have for conquering the world! Wouldn't that be awesome?

Once we get out in the world, sometimes it's all too easy to forget; get the shine taken off our apples, have our lights dimmed by the someone else's idea of reality, and by the day to day things that try to slow us down, just to see if we're tough enough to step over -- or climb across -- them to keep going. Some of us do and... some of us get bogged down or disillusioned, and if we just could hear that commencement message
one more time, we'd realize... it's all part of winning; you don't appreciate a victory unless you had something to overcome! Do you? So much more fun when had to snatch that victory from the jaws of defeat. Yeah!

So how long's it been for you? Go back in your mind and remember the last commencement exercise you attended. Remember the feelings; remember that sense of "we can accomplish anything", remember that "we're gonna make a difference in the world" mind set that those graduating seniors -- your graduating seniors -- had... and replay that speech, refocusrekindle that fire and... go kick some butt !

Next time you have a chance to go to a commencement ceremony... get a ticket; go, listen, re-energize, live your dreams. Of course, don't wait for a commencement, just remember... and pick up where you left off that energy,
(if you left off).

Have an awesome day.