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Paul Simon – Slip Slidin’ Away

January 9, 2006

Last night I was having one of those nights, the nights where everything that you think is wrong with your life comes into stark relief. I guess I was feeling down for a couple of different reasons and they were so better articulated last night then they are today. I guess it had a lot to do with my feeling that I spend a lot of my life looking either forward or backward and I miss a lot of what is going on .. right here, right now, today. It’s like I’m 22 years old now and it seems like just yesterday I was half that and I wonder how fast the next 10 or 11 years will go. I feel like as people we spend half of our lives wanting to be older and the last half wanting to be younger and I wonder if there is ever an age, where we take a deep breath and say.. I’m happy I’m as old as I am right now.. and I guess that’s in your 20s… but I just don’t feel it. I feel like I’m burning days..It’s like I lay around and watch the clock and watch another day of my life slip through the cracks and I feel like there’s going to be a time when I wish I could have those days back. I feel liek I should be living life.. in the present, right here, right now, today, but I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to fully utilize every second of my life and make it worth while.

So while all of these things were pushing me deeper into a rut, something happened.. Sportscenter happened. It was a piece about a Boston University hockey player named Travis Roy.. errantly flipping through the channels as I do so often.. I stopped at Sporstcenter and saw this particular piece. I don’t believe in fate necessarily but I do believe that there was a reason why I stopped on that channel when I did. Whatever the message was… or whatever it was supposed to be.. I got it. Here was a kid, 20 years old, playing his first shift of his first collegiate hockey game and in an instant his whole life changes he becomes dependent upon other people to do the things that I take for granted everyday. And there was a particularly poignant moment for me, one that I honestly tear up thinking about, and they asked his father what he wishes Travis could do and he kind of welled up and he said “Hug his mom and me.. he was always such a great hugger.” And that did it… tears streaming down my face.. not weepy by any means but I was definitely moved by this. Here it is.. the most simple of embraces.. I hug my parents all the time and I take it for granted and in the entire world, of anything, all this man wants is a hug from his son. That is something that will stick with me for a long, long time.

I know sometimes it’s difficult to really buy into that concept of “things could be worse” because it seems so abstract. It’s so hard to really buy into that idea when you’re hurting, the idea that there are in fact others that have it so much worse off and that your problems pale in comparison but sometimes.. it’s absolutely true. Whatever the message was supposed to be, whatever reason there was for me to be watching Sportscenter at that moment.. I got it.. loud and clear.

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