Years ago (okay, more than a decade), I always threw a party on the day after Thanksgiving. The timing was perfect: It gave people who stayed in town or came back for a visit a chance to escape their relatives and leftovers (no holiday-related food items were allowed, EXCEPT tamales. Those were always encouraged. Yum!) and to catch up in a post-food coma kind of way.
My tiny apartments or community rec rooms were always full, and I loved being able to introduce people from different parts of my life. It always amazes me when people I know so well don’t know each other.
One year at the party, the wife of one of my high school friends remarked that she’d heard a story on NPR about … well, to be honest I quit listening at that point because I was so in awe. “NPR” sounded so grown up. I didn’t even know how I would go about listening to that! I guessed only sophisticated people knew that, or they had special radios or something.
A while back I wrote a post trying to define being a “grown up.” Ever since then, my brain has been coming up with examples that show when my perceptions of “grown up” or seemingly overwhelming activities became ordinary. At that point in my life, listening to NPR was extraordinary and too far out of my comfort zone.
I love it now when I have those glimpses of the person I used to be and can laugh at how naive I was. Sometimes those reflections are cringe-worthy. Others, like this one, are just plain funny. Shaking my head and smiling is pretty much all I can do.
One of the many things that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving is my desire to keep learning and exploring. A few weeks ago the friend whose wife mentioned NPR circulated this comic:
I am definitely a nerd since each year I enjoy life more and more. Despite whatever else is going on in my life, I feel things are getting better. And in case you were wondering, I have discovered how to listen to NPR.
What formerly “grown up” things now seem common place to you? or Where are you on the life satisfaction chart?