Nos-tal-gia (noun)… a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.
I suppose the feeling of nostalgia increases the older you get. It only makes sense, as you continue to add more memories, visit more places, and try new experiences as you travel down the journey of life. “The Good Old Days” start to pile up, and sometimes you get caught up thinking about the past.
When I get together with childhood friends, we reminisce about our times together playing sports, hanging out, and growing from little boys to little men.
If only we could put the pads on one more time, spend one more carefree afternoon at “the rope”, or tip one more cow!
When we’re in Ames for a ball game, I see a lot of places that I used to frequent during college. As we drive by my fraternity house, I sometimes wish I could be an undergrad again. I see myself playing basketball for hours on our makeshift court, drinking a few beers on the porch after a week of classes, or singing Closer to Fine – arm in arm with a room full of brothers and co-eds.
But a drive down to Welch and Lincoln reminds me that those days are long gone, as are People’s, Lumpy’s, and The Dean’s List. Sommer and I just ran away for a long weekend in Steamboat, Colorado.
Of all the places that I’ve lived, this one has changed the most. Our favorite bar, The Inferno, is now ski storage and locker rooms. And The Tugboat Pub, where we partied like it was 1999 (because it was New Year’s 1999), is now a parking ramp.
At the top of one of the lifts, I had a powerful flashback to 20 years ago, when a bunch of my buddies came out for a spring break ski trip. It was an incredible weekend, and I had an emotional wave of nostalgia, wishing I could go back in time.
As I gazed across the horizon, trying to relive those days and feelings in my mind, my wife came into view. I was instantly thrust back into the present, and my spirits were immediately lifted.
There was no other place, or time, that I wanted to be. We spent the rest of the weekend enjoying some of the Old Steamboat, and a lot of the new. I tried to look up the opposite of Nostalgia. They say it doesn’t exist in one word. But if it means longing for the past, then LIFE is about living in the now.
That works for me.