Getting Over Your Glory Days

by Brett & Kate McKay on March 7, 2010 · 52 comments

in A Man's Life, On Manhood

The acrimonious late-night showdown between Jay Leno and Conan was surely about a lot of things. Money, ratings, television. But it was also about a man who couldn’t get over his glory days. Who decided to step down, but then missed his old life and was desperate to return to it.

It’s happened before to high-profile men-Brett Favre tearfully said goodbye to football and then hello and then goodbye and then hello again.

Sometimes trying to get back to your glory days actually works. Mr. Favre had a great season this year. But typically it ends up hurting the piner and those left in his wake (sorry, Coco).

While most of us will never play professional football or host a late-night talk show, we all can struggle from time to time with wanting to return to our “glory days” and missing some bygone period in our lives. This can hit in middle-age and inspire a man to buy a sports car and ditch his wife for a young babe. But it can also happen at the end of your twenties when you’re trying to adjust to the working life and missing your college years.

It’s hard not to think back to high school and college with real fondness. It was indeed a glorious time. No real responsibilities besides studying and working at a pizza place. Sleeping in, playing sports, driving around with your friends, and hanging out at parties. You felt profoundly free. The world was your oyster, and the possibilities for your life seemed endless. What were you going to make of your life? Who would you be spending it with? What were you going to do when you “grew up?”

These days you have a pretty good idea of the answers to those question. You’re married to Susan, have a job as a financial planner, and live in Dallas. Life is good, but sometimes you think back to the student life and would give anything to get back there. You wax nostalgic until you’re in a deep funk and sit on your porch sipping on a brewski and reminiscing about the good old days. Pretty soon you’re surfing the internet for a time machine.

“Ohhhh, man I wish I could go back in time. I’d take state.”

A little nostalgia for another time period in history can be a positive thing, but too much nostalgia for another time in your life can rob you of satisfaction and happiness in this one. How do you get over your glory days and fully embrace the life you currently lead?

Create new firsts. When people over the age of 35 are asked to recall the most vivid or most important events of their life, they disproportionately remember things that happened between ages 15 and 25. This association is natural-it’s the time of our lives when we’re making big decisions about our identities and the direction our lives are going to take.

It’s also a time where we experience a myraid of “firsts.” First kiss, first date, first time away from home, first time outside the country, first sex, first love, first college class and so on. Any kind of first is an exciting, heady experience. Firsts make you feel alive.

If you’re feeling stuck in your life and longing for the past, maybe it’s time to experience some new firsts. Certainly, a lot of the big ones have already been notched, but there are always new things to go after. First trip to Asia, first time surfing, first marathon, first time riding a motorcycle, first painting class. Keep filling your life with new, soul-expanding adventures.

Focus on a new goal. Sometimes our funk is not so much for lost youth, but simply the let down we experience after we achieve one of our major life goals. Psychologists have shown that we actually get more pleasure and satisfaction on the journey to a goal than we do when we finally attain it. We’re happy for a bit, and then we think, “Okay, what now?” Olympic athletes and astronauts often struggle with depression after they win a medal or make it to space. After you’ve reached such a pinnacle in your life, what can you possibly do for your next act?

The obvious answer of course is to create a new goal. Without goals your life will lack direction and purpose. The goal doesn’t have to be as grandiose as the one you’ve already attained, it just has to be something that will keep you busy and give you something to focus your life around.

Let go of false scenarios. Oftentimes when we pine for the good old days of our life, we find ourselves somewhat unconsciously dreaming of a false scenario. We want to get the freedom of our youth back. But if we were asked to give up our wife and kids we wouldn’t have any desire to do so. What we really want is to have that freedom back and keep our families. But of course that’s not possible.

Everything in life involves trade-offs. The single life is great, but there are definitely times when you’re lonely and sitting at home wishing you had somebody, and times where you’re sick of playing games with women and just want to find the one. You can’t get rid of those negatives without being in a committed relationship.

Acknowledge trade-offs, be grateful for the benefits of what you have, and don’t torture yourself with impossible scenarios.

Move on and out. In high school I did pretty well for myself. I was a football player, student council president, homecoming king, and voted Mr. Edmond North High School. I was never cocky and never ran with the popular kids, but when I graduated I thought I was a pretty cool guy.

Then I spent two years working in Tijuana, Mexico as a missionary. Nobody knew what a homecoming king was or what the Mr. ENHS title was, and they didn’t give a crap about any of it. I didn’t know a single soul, and they didn’t know me from Steve. My high school exploits quickly seemed totally unimportant, and I was humbled in a hurry.

If you’re still living in the town you grew up in or the town you went to college in, and you still think a lot about the past, it may be time to start a new life for yourself somewhere else, somewhere where you don’t keep running into people who still remember you from way back when and want to spend their time reminiscing about the good old days.

Recapture the salient qualities of the time that you miss. It’s impossible to recreate the past. You’re never going to play varsity baseball again, and hold hands with your crush at the movies, and hear your name called as prom king.

But while you can’t recapture these experiences whole hog, you can work on adding the most salient qualities about what you used to love back into your life. Even though it will never be the same, that doesn’t mean you should give up on trying to recapture some of the elements that used to lend some magic to your life.

If you miss playing high school sports, a lot of what you’re missing is the feeling of competition among men. Join a intramural team for adults in your town.

If you’re missing the camaraderie you used to feel with your frat brothers, a big part of what you’re missing is having strong male friendships. Join a lodge of Freemasons.

If you’re missing the warm fuzzies you used to get when dating, start romancing your wife with novel dates. Studies have shown that going on unique and interesting dates with your spouse can bring back the old butterflies you used to feel for each other.

Embrace different kinds of satisfaction. Being young is definitely awesome. The freedom and fun will be forever unmatched. But the key to growing up is being able to embrace new kinds of satisfactions in your life. Having a lot of freedom is certainly one of the pleasures in life, but it’s not the only one.

There is incredible satisfaction in becoming a husband and a father. In molding and shaping your children. There is satisfaction in becoming a mentor to young men. In finding success in your career. In making an impact on the world. In being in control of your life. In being wiser. There is pleasure in the passion of new love, but there is pleasure in long-term companionate love as well.

When all you think about is what you miss about your former life, you can miss out on the joy to be found  in your current one.

Embrace the idea of “seasons” in life. Some people prefer life in places like California, places that are always fairly temperate but lack distinct seasons. But I’ve always been a seasons guy. I like watching the world change around me, seeing how different the very same place can look in each season, and enjoying the distinct activities and weather each season brings. Each season, although different, has its own charm.

For example in Vermont, summer is a glorious time. The days are warm but not scorching, and the nights are cool. You can spend your time wandering through the woods, eating maple cremees, and floating down picturesque rivers.

Of course, the winter is another story. Cold, dark and snowy, it keeps the state from being overrun with new residents who fall in love with the area in the summer and fall. Winter season stretches on for half the year and many people, even those who’ve been there their whole lives find it depressing. The winter really brings them down; all they can think about is the coming spring.

My uncle-in-law has lived in Vermont for decades, and I asked him how he stands the winters. He said they used to bother him, but he started getting right out into it-snowshoeing and skiing every day-and now the winters don’t faze him at all. I talked to another Vermonter who said that winter was her favorite season, because she loved to ski more than anything.

So where am I going with this? Well our life is broken into seasons. Spring, then summer, then fall, then a long winter. During the winter of our lives things are certainly not as carefree as they once were, but we can find the things about this period of our journey that are unique and fully embrace them.

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Revrend Cowboy March 7, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Two years as a missionary– Mormon?
This article seems pretty timely, at least for me– right now, I’m married, working toward a career, happier than I’ve ever been in my life. And yet, there are times late at night when going back to ’06 sounds great.
Much thanks for the article– another reason to love AoM.

2 Supr Awesm March 7, 2010 at 11:52 pm

It can be difficult to get over your glory days particularly if you peak early, but always having a goal, always looking forward to something is a good way to live life.

3 Steve March 8, 2010 at 2:36 am

I’m lucky, my youth sucked. haha I have nothing to really reminisce about. Also, it took me 4 years to get my AA degree!! It will also take another 3 years or so to get my BA (I’m going into a completely different direction which is causing me to take a lot of pre-requisites that I wasn’t planning), and then… it’s possibly off to Med School (another, what? 4 or 5 years?). Talk a bout a journey. I won’t even be done with school intil my mid thirties or so. I guess that’s good though, because my glory days are still ahead of me.

Thanks for the great post Brett and Kate! You guys are top-notch.

Steve

4 Sir Lancelot March 8, 2010 at 3:43 am

Here’s another one who thinks his glory days are before him (hopefully!)

5 Sarah Joy Albrecht March 8, 2010 at 3:58 am

Great post on the Uncle Rico complex ;)

Thanks for the reminder to embrace the current season God has given us.

6 Dan March 8, 2010 at 6:57 am

Leno was forced to leave the Tonight Show to make room for Conan because of promises NBC folks made years ago. After Conan completely failed to live up to Leno’s late-night ratings and Leno’s primetime ratings were failing too, rather than have two failing shows, NBC gave Conan the boot and put Leno back on the Tonight Show. It had nothing to do with Leno being unable to get over his glory days…

7 Jon March 8, 2010 at 7:17 am

@ Dan
Leno could have declined the Tonight Show offer and retired. If he had done that, Conan almost certainly would have kept the show.

8 Hayley March 8, 2010 at 7:25 am

Yeppers, Leno would have got way more credit for just retiring like he should have.

9 _EUy March 8, 2010 at 7:46 am

The worst is seeing parents live their youth vicariously threw their children.

10 Shane March 8, 2010 at 8:03 am

I have no desire to relive my childhood, high school or my twenties. Here’s hoping my glory days are still in the future!

11 Hans Hageman March 8, 2010 at 8:06 am

Excellent advice. Being in the moment is either too painful or too unusual for a lot of people. I use meditation to help train me to enjoy the present. the glory days can be useful when you need past evidence of success to create a compelling present and future. NLP uses techniques that rely on as a vivid a recall as possible of the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic cues from peak experiences.

12 Gus March 8, 2010 at 10:59 am

Great article. I find men over 35 who do new things are happier and more interesting. I have to disagree with the convertable observation. Most young men cannot afford the toys they want. Then comes a wife and kids. When they have the money, and the right passenger, they get the toy. This does not include the ones who buy a hot car to run around with someone besides their wife. I have nothing for those excuses for men or their hair dye jobs.

13 Marriage Proposal Guide March 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

“Wherever you are, be there”

I’m not sure who said it or I’d give credit. It’s the simplest, yet most profound quote I think I’ve ever heard. It’s easy to long for the past, but in doing so you miss what’s going on around you. Part of life is change, so the sooner you come to terms with life moving (i.e. the seasons you mention here), the sooner you can enjoy those seasons and enjoy life.

Here’s another quote – “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

Great job bringing this dilemma to light. I’m sure most men can relate and you provide sound advice for handling the issue.

-RJ Licata

14 Jim Hart March 8, 2010 at 12:04 pm

The journey is always better than the goal. I am going on my fourth career. I have been a supermarket manager, master chef & caterer, personal trainer, and now fitness lifestyle coach and food psychology counselor. Who knows what is to come? I love setting new goals and moving forward and looking at life as a continous journey with brief reststops along the way.

15 Evan March 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Wow, my high school and college experiences were not even remotely like that. I do sometimes long for a return to those days, but it’s more because of how I wish I could change them.

16 Nathaniel Sc. Bendel March 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm

I found the mention of Freemasonry in this article to be very appropos considering the mission of this site. As you may or may not know, the mission of Freemasonry is to “take good men and make them better.” I’ve been a Mason for 4 years and I enjoy the camaraderie but I have to say one of the most positive aspects of the fraternity is the encouragement to be a better man.

I also wanted to mention that for some people, it can also be a problem of getting over the fact that they didn’t have any glory days. I wish I played a varsity sport or ran for student council. In high school, I did my best not to be involved in much of anything. I also wasn’t too concerned about my grades because I didn’t plan on going to college. So basically pining for the glory days can also come in the form of regret.

17 DJ Wetzel March 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Excellent advice. I especially agree with the comment about people who still live in the same town they were born in and never leave. I have seen too many of my friends that I went to high school with who went to a local college, or no college at all, and now still live in an apartment down the street from our high school and still act the same as they did back in “the glory days”. I’m all for sticking with your roots, but when those roots have you so firmly planted in the same spot that you never grow up, never experience life, and never do anything remotely resembling interesting, you need to cut the cord.

18 D March 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Good article. I would suggest also that nostalgia makes the past much better than it actually was. And also, that our society places too much emphasis on youth, and not enough on age and experience. So what if you had more freedom back then? Now you have self-confidence, wisdom, accomplishments, money and your own place!

19 The Counselor March 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Another excellent article, Brett and Kate. I particularly agree with the thought about travelling to other places to create new “first” experiences. Too many people (myself included, for a time) live their lives much like their Medieval ancestors did—rarely venturing beyond the comfortable certainty of a familiar location. Granted, we may not spend our entire lives within a fifteen-mile radius from where we were born, but far too often we can get stuck in a rut having the same repetitive conversations about “the good old days” with the same old people in the same old places. As DJ Wetzel pointed out, keeping in touch with your roots is certainly not a bad thing, but becoming trapped by them can quickly prove suffocating. There’s an entire world out there waiting to be explored—from the Swiss Alps and downtown Tokyo to the beaches of Brazil and the ruins in Rome. Even just travelling around your home state can offer surprising adventures if you seek them out.

I also agree with the truth about life being divided into seasons. The stuff that made you happy when you were 15 is usually a far cry from what makes you happy at 25 or 30. Am I as thin as I was when I was a teenager? Nope. Do I have as much hair as I did when I was in college? No again. Am I a wiser person with more life experiences, however? Absolutely. I may not be able to scarf down an entire pizza with wild abandon, but I do enjoy being able to make an excellent chicken marsala for my lady or being able to properly marinate steaks for my friends.

There’s nothing worse than seeing somebody (you know, “that guy”) trying to recapture his youth with a comb-over, ill-fitting “trendy” clothes, or the use of the same teenage vernacular his middle-school niece uses with her friends. We may not necessarily stay as “cool” as we get older, but achieving respectability rocks. Leave the kid stuff for the kids.

20 Ryan March 8, 2010 at 4:31 pm

It’s just like the “for everything there is a season…” poem from the old testament, I think it might be in ecclesiastes but i’m not sure. great stuff, keep it up man.

21 Lenadams Dorris March 8, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Go Huskies!

#EUy wrote on March 8, 2010 at 7:46 am:
The worst is seeing parents live their youth vicariously threw their children.

You’re right, EUy…no one should vicariously throw children.

As for Being Here Now and all that, no one does it better than the 60s original:
Remember, Be Here Nowby Baba Ram Dass

In case all of that HTML mumbo-jumbo doesn’t convert, I’m talking about the book “Remember, Be Here Now”, the famous and still valid 1966 book by Baba Ram Dass aka Richard Alpert…still available at Amazon, or better yet, your local bookstore.

22 Albert March 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm

True fulfillment for young men is about gaining the wisdom (both knowledge and practice) of adults, especially the elders. As young men become adults, their fulfillment should gradually mature into the kind that is found in passing on wisdom and good ways of living to the next generations until they become elders, whose greatest gifts to their families and communities are the wisdom collected and cultivated over a lifetime.

Two major barriers to a healthy inter-generational relation are: a) the dissolution of the boundary between youth and adulthood which is a consequence of social and moral confusion/immaturity and widespread disbelief in true wisdom concerning character and virtue that is rooted in true religion (yes, it’s a very unpopular notion; hence, widespread inter-generational problems). If everything concerning value, meaning and purpose is relative and merely subjective, then maturity is an illusion, wisdom is so much hot air, and men should just fulfill themselves however they see fit without regard to the next generation (who should just do whatever they see fit). Unfortunately, many men are doing just this. A second barrier is the b) extreme mobility of everyone which puts a strain on relationships, as people are moving more often than ever before, and which makes it easier to become isolated since it is difficult to exert the energy needed to create new relationships in new places. Both these temptations are hard to resist today; relatively few men are able to do so with apparent ease, but for most men, it is a hard struggle.

23 Brian March 8, 2010 at 6:44 pm

I’m not sure that I agree that younger men have more freedom than older guys. Whatever you choose to pursue in life (a family, a career, a recording contract, etc.), you have to leave something else on the table. You can’t do it all. Older men don’t have less freedom, they just have more on the table. This distinction might seem small, but it seems important to me for some reason. I long for the days when I had the “freedom” to quit my job and spend the summer traveling. It was the most fun I’ve ever had. But interestingly, what I really miss about those days was the clean slate, the excitement of starting over every once in a while. Reinvention. Leaving it all on the table.

24 Tyler Logan March 9, 2010 at 6:57 am

Nice post. Hmmm got me thinking now. I’ve got one last year of university (college to American’s) before I jump on the job wagon. Personally, I want to be self-employed always creating my own challenges and opportunities – that way I’ll always have glory days but if that falls through, I can imagine myself looking back at now and wondering how to do it better or get back.

25 StaggerLee March 9, 2010 at 7:57 am

My boy played hockey one year when he was 6. ONE! He loved it and I enjoyed it as well except for all the fat old men reliving their glory days on the ice through their kids. They weren’t letting their kids be kids and enjoy the game! Now he is in a much different sport and is building glory days of his own! And they are HIS not mine!

I am sure the same can be said for many sports and I’m not knocking hockey, that’s just where my personal experience was. My point is, Is there anything more pathetic than beer-belly-Bill living vicariously through jr.?

26 Adam March 9, 2010 at 9:54 am

This is quite well-timed. Just as I was driving to work this morning, I saw a kid cruising down the street on his skateboard. Baggy pants, big headphones, on his way to school. That brought me back instantly to the days I used to spend out at night with my buddies skating up new spots, listening to new music, rolling around town without a care in the world except which new skate spot we’d tear up and hopefully there would be girls there.

For an instant, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to go get a new skateboard and get out there again, like the old days?” But then I looked down at myself, tie and sweater vest, driving my Volvo to my office job, on the cusp of being married and buying a house. I have more glory days ahead. Days that I will look back on 15 years from now and say, “Wow, those were the days.” I love my life right now and I am going to live it to it’s fullest.

27 Finnian March 9, 2010 at 11:04 am

Perhaps all those past “glory days” were glorious because, at the time, we were not thinking about who we were or what we were doing or where we would rather be; instead, we were just living.

28 Brett March 9, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Great article. Very apropos for me after spending a weekend with college friends. This article encompasses everything I love about this site though. Looking ahead and setting positive, worthwhile goals.

29 Mike M. March 9, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Gus is right. You hit 40-45 and you are in your prime earning years, have the kids out of the house…and can afford the expensive toys.

Although I have to admit to not owning a hardtop since 1985.

30 Alessandro March 9, 2010 at 10:32 pm

This is a great post. It really captured a lot of what’s been on my mind lately.

31 Nick March 9, 2010 at 10:36 pm

This was a great read. No desire to look back here, I take better care of myself now (overall) compared to my youth. Thanks for sharing.

32 Rick G March 11, 2010 at 9:32 am

I read this and I can’t help but think of Ol’ Al Bundy, Polk High, 4 touchdowns in one game.

I’ve got friends from my high school days that when we get together all they want to do is talk about the old days. We laugh a lot but I’ve really had to put all that behind me. I no longer see some of things I did as funny, bullying isn’t funny and really wasn’t then either. I do get nostalgic for some of things I pulled off on the football field though…. if only I could have taken that intensity into my studies at that time.

33 Strada March 11, 2010 at 9:49 am

Insightful comments!
As most folks live longer, retirement is postponed, or simply cast aside. The seasons of life especially the winter is being altered with new significance.

Reliving old glory days with good friends is always a fun or painful experience depending on the glory. The real challenge is crafting new glory days in an environment where the winter season last longer.

34 Gerry March 12, 2010 at 3:53 pm

All I’ve got to say is that you only live this life once and you’re as young as you think are. Ignore what others are thinking and saying and go for it ! Columbus was told the earth was flat. I for one am glad that he stayed the course. I would rather die on safari than go to my grave bored and feeling old.

35 Nick March 13, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Definitely agree with D about how it wasn’t as good as you make it out to be. I’ve got so much more going for me now than I ever did.

Work on getting those firsts

36 John March 15, 2010 at 3:25 am

Jay Leno was forced to step down by NBC. Conan took his spot, but failed to live up to Leno’s ratings. Jay’s original intent was to retire, but NBC refused to let him retire. It had absolutely NOTHING to do with Jay Leno and his glory days, it was just NBC’s middle management making horrible decisions.

37 Brett McKay March 15, 2010 at 12:34 pm

@John-

I don’t know where you’re getting your info but the facts in the matter are thus. In 2004, Jay Leno said he would retire in 2009. But when it came time for his retirement, he really didn’t feel ready to do so. He entertained the notion of taking a show on CBS or ABC, and NBC didn’t want to lose him, so NBC offered Leno the 10:00 show and Leno agreed to do it. NBC did not in any way force Leno to take that show-they had no power to do so. They made an offer and Leno took it. And showed himself to be a cad.

38 Steve C. March 17, 2010 at 10:06 am

The one thing I didn’t like about the article was the mention of Freemasonry. As some may know, Freemasonry literally becomes its own religion as one moves up in the ranks of it. This is why several Christian churches have stated that joining freemasonry is tantamount to apostasy (renouncing your religion). It embraces the idea of gnosticism, which is incompatible with Christianity.

There are many fraternal orders that are either completely secular or actively incorporate one’s own religion into it, rather than subverting it. For Catholics, I would highly recommend becoming a Knight of Columbus rather than a Freemason.

39 Eric Williams March 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm

I’m really glad that this was written. I’m 28 and married and my wife and I have a 9 month old boy whom we both adore. But despite of all of this, recently I have found myself really longing for “the good old days” of college and high school. I’m at that point in life where I’ve started to settle down. I’ve gotten a little bit fatter (I never used to be fat!) and a little less athletic (a few years ago I could sprint to the top of a mountain and not get winded) and my old college buddies have all drifted away and melted into different lives and different areas of the country. And lately, I have been feeling that I would give ANYTHING to go back to the amazing days of college. I sit in a cubicle all day and wonder where the hell the time went. But for me, my son is what is getting me through it. I look forward to raising him, teaching him life’s lessons, taking him camping, etc. Raising him to be a man and instilling all the values that I now treasure. I guess I just might get over the good old days after all. Loved the article.

40 Gary March 18, 2010 at 4:50 pm

I had glory days?

41 David O. Donovan March 19, 2010 at 7:42 pm

You know what they say, “The older I get, the better I was.” Great article.

42 kevin March 20, 2010 at 6:47 pm

@ Gary , Thats a good one .

43 jeremy March 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm

great article. I’m one of those guys who really misses football. It was about the competition but it was also about that feeling when breaking free on iso up the middle or hitting a guy as he’s coming across the line. It’s hard to find that kind of replacement for that. I just loved it. I still think about the glory days of football. I have moved on…I don’t live there. I’ve got new challenges. This is a great article.

44 Johnny the Freemason March 22, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Sometimes I pine for my college days…but then I hop into my new car and remember that I don’t have to steal food to survive anymore. Then, I was just surviving. Now, I can live.

45 wb March 25, 2010 at 9:56 am

Adam. Nice post. Funny you should mention it. I was a professional skateboarder for much of my twenties and now am about to hit the big 4-0. And despite my age, my income bracket, my nice shiny car, and successful career, I find there is nothing quite like grabbing the skateboard out of the closet and heading to the skatepark. Though I’m not reliving the glory days, it’s nice to know I can still go out and do much of what I used to do. This always makes for funny dinner party fodder, and often I find I have had enough after 30 minutes and am quickly reminded that I am so much more passionate about the other things that now occupy my life. Try it sometime.

46 Hugh Betcha April 12, 2010 at 1:41 pm

The long Winter can be cold. I like the writers’ approach to this subject. Most of us have been there and it isn’t pretty. It’s like watching adolescents clinging to the “Trick or Treat” tradition well beyond their expiration date. I try to share the same insight and wisdom while keeping it mixed with a little humor. I’ll be coming back for more.

47 James April 18, 2010 at 2:09 am

I have to admit I also do not like the excessive mention of Freemasonry on this site. The doctrine they embrace is anti-Christian in many ways. In the early 1920′s, my great-grandparents on my mom’s side were forced to leave Mexico under threat of death by the Freemasons that had taken over the government there. If you are Catholic, being initiated into the Freemasons can earn one an automatic excommunication.

48 Jim May 21, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Great article!!!!

Give Brett and Kate a break on the Freemasonry stuff. All they were trying to do was make a point about joining a fraternal club and Freemasonry is well know enough to get their point across.

No harm no foul. I too am an author and you learn real quick that us can’t please everyone.

Keep up the good work from one scribe to another.

49 susan August 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Bravo! Brett and Kate- excellent article. And bravo! commenters- there is solace and encouragement in the shared experience.

50 Tom Hartman December 19, 2012 at 12:29 am

What a great article, and I almost laughed loud enough to wake my wife here when I read about the part where next thing you know you’ll be looking for time machines on the net. I HAVE DONE THIS….;) Well, I’ve read about traveling to your past anyway. It is so easy to let the present slip by if we are not careful. Thanks for a great read.

51 A Woman October 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Thank you for this excellent, well-written article. I find that I can apply these concepts in my life, as well, though I am still young.

52 Big Dom April 15, 2014 at 7:59 am

I’m kind of going through this right now. I never went to college (lucked into a well paying career straight out of high school) but I was an NYC punk playing in hardcore punk bands from 17 until 24. I used to be a crazy, alcoholic nightmare running around and getting into all sorts of trouble. Needless to say, living at that pace was hard to sustain and the band broke up due to members stealing equipment to pay for drugs and members getting arrested. I got out of the scene and cleaned up my act and now at 28 I am sober, have money in the bank and have a handful of hobbies and interests (poetry, yoga, hiking, meditation) and am generally a healthier and more decent human being. Now, I love my life but recently I find myself wanting to strap on the Doc Martens and raise hell from time to time. I think it’s due to boredom. There is no way that I am going to go back to the insane, druggy, criminal life I was living though. I guess I need to make some changes and shake things up in a positive way. Cheers all!

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