Say Good-bye to Youth

A good friend reminded me that today is our 20th graduation anniversary, ouch! After I got over the uncontrolled need to seek out a good plastic surgeon, I started thinking about all of the things that have changed in the past two decades.

Who I am has changed. I am more confident. Perhaps it’s because my hair isn’t as tall and I almost never wear my trademarked over sized shirts and baggy pants anymore. Suffice it to say, I’m very thankful that digital photography wasn’t around in my younger days.

My priorities have changed. I’ve discovered I actually do need more than three hours of sleep each night. And those awesome shoes that I can hardly walk in aren’t worth the blisters; even if I do look hot in them. Instead, I am the mother to four boys. What time and childbirth have shifted physically, has been replaced by love and countless hours of worry. Instead of obsessing about my wardrobe I spend hours contemplating important parenting skills. What’s the best way to prepare them for the ‘real world’? Will I be able to send them to college? Will they ever stop interrupting me when I’m on the phone?

How we work has changed. Unlike days gone by when information hoarders were king today’s successful worker understands how to share. Collaboration is happening everywhere and it is now commonplace for information to be shared across geographic, cultural and generational boundaries. The context by which data is generated is critical during this process, and is often the hardiest element to master. It’s where I see most of my professional changes happening in the future.

Despite all of this change some of the most important things remain the same. They still serve soft serve vanilla ice cream with cherry dip at our local ice cream stand. I might not look hip doing it, but I can still rock to 80’s hair bands. And the sounds and smells of the ocean can still melt away my worries. Only now, I have twenty years of new friends, four children and dozens of talented colleagues with whom to share the experience. I think that is the best change of all.

What has your ride been like?