by Jon Hilton
It is funny how the things we attach value to change over the years. Some things that once meant everything to us now mean absolutely nothing, and conversely some things we didn’t value at all mean everything in our lives today. I think that finding the right things that are valuable or important to us is a huge part of growing up and finding what makes you a happy, productive human being enjoying life on this planet.
When I was young, physical activity was a part of life as vital to me as breathing. It didn’t really matter what time of year, what weather I had to face, I was moving in it.
In the summer it was perpetual motion, from swimming to boating, to just getting from place to place. I was physically active from the time I woke up in the morning to the time I put my head on the pillow at night.
Over the years, there was school, followed by a job and then you have to find time to be physically active. I have gone through weight training and cardiovascular fitness of all kinds, and each time I value the ability and stamina I had as a youth. I value my mobility now, and dream of what it was like then.
Friendships Are Strange
However it seems like I have met many “friends” in adulthood that are as transient as the weather.
Present for a season or two of your life and then destined to fade and fizzle out over time. I have always believed that once I am your friend, I am your friend for life. There aren’t any conditions, or behavioral expectations, we are friends and it is a relationship that will last.
This philosophy has been continually proven wrong, so I value the friends who are there when my back is to the wall.
I believe whole heartedly that people enter your life for a reason, most often to teach you something. Unfortunately the lesson for me has been that you can’t expect much from people. Yet it is a valuable lesson none the less. I think all of the lessons I have learned have value, so I thank the fair weathered friends I have known as well as the true for all you have taught me.
There are few things in the world that define who you are more than the family you belong to. Some people hate their family, but me I look at us as a collection of unique individuals that each move their own way.
I make no bones about it that all of my grandparents, and great grandparents and great uncles and aunts that I have personally known have had an impact on me. Even though they have all passed away, I carry them with me. Their voices are recorded in my mind and I remember not only how they sounded but what they said. I also remember what they did and I was a fortunate and blessed soul, because all of my relatives wanted me to be great.
Those that are still here I love them all as well, even though distances that may be a natural part of life have crept in. All of us are different, and I appreciate those unique qualities. There is nothing as valuable as family because no matter what they say or do, inside they are carrying around a large part of the DNA. Family is something that gains in value over time.
Relationships from long ago,
Mean more to me than they’ll ever know.
From the very first time I saw you smile
to watching you leave in after all those miles.
You may not know that this part is true,
I have never forgot my love for you.
Valuables In My Mind
Finally there are the things I have learned, which I have found to be extremely valuable. Most of my life I didn’t understand the value that was created when you started looking for the answer to a question. The answers you may never find completely but the information you learn along the way can make life so much more enjoyable.
Some people believe that you go to college when you are young and learn, then get a job and put that learning to use. I disagree with this paradigm completely. For me, non of what I was exposed to in college I learned. I mimicked and regurgitated knowledge, but to learn it has to become a part of you. I have learned more since I turned 43 than I ever learned in life before.
This is not a condemnation of my instructors or the schools I attended but an indictment on myself. Above all else, what I am able to learn, contemplate and understand, are the greatest valuables there are.