The uneasy onset of nostalgia

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We are all about to embark on new lives.

We've spent the majority of our time on this Earth preparing for the next, all the while ignoring the now. With four weeks until graduation I feel ready for the next inevitable step into the working world. As much as I am prepared for the rest of my life, I have felt an unsettling feeling of nostalgia lately.

The other day, as I backed out of my garage on my way to work, I caught sight of two little girls playing hockey in their driveway.

Like the car idling beneath me, my thoughts slowly reversed. I began to think about all the things I've done along the road to graduation. And as much as I am excited to enter the "real world" and all the freedom that its money will bring, it suddenly dawned on me that real freedom is all but a memory.

I remember waking up on a Saturday morning, calling up my friends and going out to play all day long. Our parents would drive us up the rural Ontario highway to one buddy's house where we'd make base camp.

After an hour of food and supply preparation we'd grab our skates, nets, shovels, and sticks. We'd run across the 401, hop a fence and proceed to play pond hockey until the sun fell on the horizon. Day upon day was spent this way; all of us free of worries about things like how we'd pay for new skates and when we needed to be home.

Like it or not, life becomes a series of perpetuities. As our schedules are replicated from week to week, time marches on. University has given us a taste of the scheduled life.

Get up. Go to work. Have lunch. Go back to work. Come home. Have dinner. Watch TV. Go to bed. There is little room for much else, the trick though is finding the time to play.

No one has ever died and said they wished they had worked more. For the next 40 years we will be consumed with the things we have to do. This will undoubtedly make it tougher to find time to do the things we want to do.

But nothing is more important than yourself. So make time, call up your buddies for a game of flag football, or road hockey, even Magic for that matter. Whatever turns your crank.

Our freedom may never be what it once was, but it will only become nostalgia if we let it.