I used to love getting on the bus to take a long ride to one our track and field meets when I was a sprinter at James Madison University. I enjoyed the camaraderie with my fellow teammates. We would laugh and joke and of course there was a plenty of napping especially on really long road trips. While I loved most of the trips, one stuck out to me that was not that enjoyable. It was nothing our coaches did and we certainly were not nervous about the meet we were going to. No, it was none of that. It was the fact that so many people who were seniors were running at that particular meet.
It was our annual meet at George Mason University and it always happened right about graduation time at JMU. I honestly expected to see none of the senior runners because I thought they would be attending graduation. I thought to myself, "doesn't everyone go to graduation?" Well, apparently not because when I inquired with some of the runners they didn't think not attending graduation was a big deal. They truly believed that a mid to lower level competitive meet at George Mason was more important than the four or five year journey in academia (which was our primary reason for being in school). I just had to shake my head at them. And why? Graduation and similar ceremonies of accomplishment are nothing to sneeze at!
I was reminded of the wonderful nature of graduations as I watched my wife graduate with her Master's in Education from UNLV this past weekend. Not only was I so happy for my wife, but I was so happy for all of the graduates who spent years getting to this point where they could be honored by the university, but more importantly by their family and friends. I got choked up so many times during the ceremony for all the people moving onto the next phase of their lives. And what was even more emotional was all of us waiting for our graduates to come out after the ceremony so we could give them big hugs and tell them how proud we are of them. You can't replicate that time, that moment, that feeling. When you miss it...it's gone. I look back at my Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral graduations and they were highlights of my life. I couldn't imagine missing those because I thought I had something better to do. What else is better than graduation or any other really special moment in your life that you and others can equally share in?
Always take your bow when the opportunity arises because let's be honest...they don't happen that often in life.
Until next time...