With a graduating class of 683 at North Little Rock High School in 1965, and 112 classmates having passed on, one might think the others would be worse for the wear in 2015. However, I celebrated a milestone this past weekend with a 50th high school reunion, and the attendees were as varied now as they were 50 years ago. Age seemed less of a factor than life’s experiences, and current interests.
Some were easy to recognize as they literally looked eerily similar to what they did in high school. Some were hard to recognize, but, only because of weight gain or loss over the years. Some looked much older than others, and the same was true with mobility levels. The two hours of dancing to 60’s music brought many onto the dance floor, but others moved into the quiet room and just conversed. However, each person was interested enough to be there, and each person had a good life story to tell and share.
All had made the trek, whether across town or across the country to share memories, renew acquaintances, and make new friends. And, this social activity is one of the most important things we can do as we age. Facebook has created a new way to connect, and those who do use Facebook can now stay in touch, share interests and learn about new or different interests from those who we knew so many years ago.
Counting years is really only an academic exercise, however. The crux of aging well is taking care of oneself, and maintaining an interest in life. Unrealized potential, is still unrealized, no matter the age. There are plenty of stories of old folks who started exercising late, or painting, or writing, or traveling.
It will be interested to see, as the years go on, who accepts the challenge of trying something novel and complex, and who just lives life, accepting what comes along the pike and does not venture out.
Whatever the outcomes, I am truly blessed to have ongoing interests in work and hobby that introduce the novel and complex on a daily basis, and, hopefully, keep me young at heart, and in mind.
The event was videoed, and, if you are interested in my challenge to the class (as an emcee for this august event), some of it was captured in this video.