Listen til the end: “100 Years” is a song by Five for Fighting, written by John Ondrasik. This song was used in the podcast episode as part of its soundtrack, and we want to thank John Ondrasik for creating such a beautiful and meaningful piece of music that perfectly complemented the content of our episode. We appreciate the artistry and emotion that “100 Years” brought to our podcast, and we hope our listeners enjoyed it as much as we did. Thank you, John Ondrasik, for your contribution to our episode’s atmosphere.
What if we are actually living in the “good old days”? I’m someone who has spent a great deal of my life being nostalgic for the past, anxious for the future, and completely disregarding the present. And that’s a problem. As I’ve tried to correct this habit that has plagued me for years, I’ve come to realize something profound: We are currently living in tomorrow’s “good old days.”
This realization struck me last night when I attended my first hometown homecoming football game since graduating high school. As I sat there, I couldn’t help but think about how those were supposed to be the days I’d look back on as the “good old days.” But, by being more mindful and present in the moment, I understood that the present time we’re living in right now will one day be our “good old days.”
I gained a greater appreciation for the times when I played on that football field, with the stadium filled with cheering fans supporting me and my teammates. Despite the fact that I didn’t particularly enjoy playing football back then, I now look back on those moments with fondness. It was a time of innocence, with far fewer worries and concerns – it was high school, after all.
Instead of looking back at last night as some distant, perfect past, I paused to reflect on today. Right now, I have the opportunity to create my own “good old days” or, as I’d like to call them, “battle days.” Moreover, I can integrate the memories of those “good old days” into my life’s rich tapestry, which includes its fair share of good, bad, highs, and lows.
It was a refreshing experience to be able to enjoy the football game without longing to go back in time and correct past mistakes. I’ll admit, I’ve been quite hard on myself over the years, always striving for self-improvement and discipline. However, there’s a fine line between holding yourself accountable and having unrealistic expectations of yourself.
Last night was fantastic as I watched the Sulphur Springs Wildcats play, alongside one of my best friends from high school, Ryan McKenzie – the greatest guy I’ve ever known. To my buddy, Mario Thomas, whom I hadn’t seen in years, you made the evening even more special. It’s incredible how he hasn’t aged a day since our high school graduation, like a real-life freak of nature. He looks the same, sounds the same – it was absolutely amazing.
I’m the kind of guy who’s so focused on moving forward that I don’t often allow myself to revisit the past. I used to be a die-hard nostalgic, constantly yearning for the good old days. In my mind, I thought those times were better and that I had so much life ahead of me. It led to me being hard on myself, thinking I’d made mistakes. Now, I can relish those moments, like I did last night, and realize that life is beautiful if we choose to make it that way.
Some of you may be listening and thinking, “This doesn’t resonate with me. I’ve always been this way.” You’re someone who can find the sun even on the darkest days. I envy your ability to do so, and I’m learning to be more joyful and content, thanks in large part to my wife, Jemilynn . She’s encouraged me to be present and focus on what I’ve previously called “experience dividends” – those moments of joy and sweetness that we sometimes neglect due to our preoccupation with bills and responsibilities.
After all, if these are tomorrow’s “good old days,” why not make them as wonderful as possible, no matter what’s happening in your life? Remember that we are the curators and designers of our own lives, and there’s no reason to design anything less than a fantastic, remarkable, and beautiful “good old day.”
Instead of avoiding those moments in the past that bring up regrets and mistakes, embrace them. This is where you’re supposed to be, and if you don’t like it, you have the power to change it. Wherever you go, there you are, and you can choose to change your circumstances with courage.
So, I wanted to take a moment today to share the eye-opening experience I had last night at the Sulphur Springs Wildcat football game during homecoming 2023 – my first in nearly 30 years. It put so much into perspective for me, and I hope you’ll take away a valuable lesson from it. You and I are currently living in what will become “tomorrow’s good old days.” Embrace them and make them as exceptional as humanly possible with everything you have.
Song Credit: “100 Years” Five For Fighting (One of the greatest songs ever written)