(Palm Drive leading into campus…ah, good times)
Although AK and I have been sick since the start of the new year, we did have one bright spot this weekend other than sleeping–we dragged ourselves out of bed for the annual draw group holiday dinner on Saturday night. The draw group, in case you are unfamilar with the term, is just a group of friends at Stanford who enter the housing lottery (the “draw”) together. As it turns out, 5 of the 6 members of our original draw group ended up settling in the Bay Area, and even the lone outpost in Taiwan (Mr. $) has graced us with his presence a couple of times. We really are quite lucky to be able to get together as much as we want, though we could probably do better with planning (yes, inertia really is a powerful force).
A sure sign of the onset of aging is nostalgia (wait, have I said that before? I really am getting old). It is sometimes hard to believe that college was more than 10 years ago. These days, our gatherings are usually filled with the sound of kids (laughter, crying, shrieking…you know, the joys of parenthood), discussions of the financial crisis, and sometimes debates about politics. Sure, of course it’s still fun. But life, it seems, is now always rushed, and there is an ever-growing to-do list: groceries, bills, housecleaning, and even social events (and I don’t even have kids!). Once upon a time, life was much simpler. Days seemed endless, and conversations idle. Hypothetical questions abound, and the biggest source of stress, aside from finals, came from events like the draw. How did we find time to stay up all night for no reason? The late night Taco Bell runs, doing “fingering” (I know it sounds dirty, but it’s not) or “whois” on the computers, club activities, all various ways of whiling away the time. I don’t ever wish to return to my college days (many were dark for other reasons), nor do I feel unhappy about my current life (quite the contrary). But once in a while, just for a day or two, I feel a twinge of jealousy. And I envy the younger version of me. We were so free, so gleefully irresponsible, so blissfully unaware of what is to come. And we had oodles of time to waste.
Youth is wasted on the young. I could not have said it better myself.