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When Is a College Reunion Not a College Reunion?

5 Jun

brandeis_reunionSo, here’s the thing about college reunions. Mine, anyway.

Ten years out of school is a significant milestone. Which is probably why, at my 10-year reunion, there was great attendance — in addition to many members of our class, there were lots of spouses and kids in tow. And it very quickly turned into a disappointing, awfully superficial affair: Many people overdid it with the hyperbole (they had “the most wonderful husband” and “the best kids”) to show off how well they were doing, and made all kinds of excuses about why they hadn’t stayed in touch over the years. It was kind of like the old-fashioned cliché of reunions, complete with social anxiety and lots of one-upmanship. (Remember: This was in 2006, when most people weren’t using Facebook.)

Suffice it to say, as a single guy who was frustrated personally and professionally at the time, it really wasn’t my scene. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, there were folks there I didn’t care to see (like, ever), who I went out of my way to avoid. So I didn’t enjoy that reunion very much. No surprise. And I skipped my 15-year reunion altogether.

This weekend, at my 20-year college reunion (a fact I’m still trying to wrap my head around), it was a very different scene. Continue reading

Another Year, Another Loop Around the Trail of Life

7 Jun
chestnut-hill-reservoir

(Photo credit: Martin Lieberman)

Yesterday, soon after I woke up, I laced up my sneakers, strapped on my armband, cranked up some good tunes, and dragged my largely out-of-shape body to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, partly to “train” for this week’s Corporate Challenge (which I signed up for kind of as a goof, but now actually have to do), partly to work off some of the crap I’ve been eating lately, and partly because — well, did I really need a reason?

Not surprisingly, it wasn’t an easy go at first. I jogged some of the way there, then after a few stretches, started jogging around the 1.5-mile-long trail. Then I slowed to a power walk, and eventually just walked.

Three quarters of the way around my counter-clockwise loop, even though I had walked nearly all of it, I thought to myself, “That’s it. I’m done. Maybe I’ll just do one today. Maybe I’ll come back and do another one later today after I’ve rested. Maybe I’ll do better tomorrow.” I was trying to talk myself out of continuing.

But a funny thing happened as I neared the starting point on the Boston College side: I decided I could probably — and should definitely — do another. So I pushed myself to begin another loop around. Continue reading

A Letter to Myself on My 40th Birthday

7 Jun

Young Martin LiebermanDear Martin,

Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday you were skydiving to celebrate your 30th birthday. Now it’s 10 years later and you’re 40 years old.

Wait a second. You’re 40? How are you 40? You don’t look 40. You don’t act 40. You’re still single. You have no kids. You still tell and laugh at the same juvenile jokes. You still eat Lucky Charms for breakfast (sometimes, anyway). And hell, you still watch the Real World/Road Rules Challenge every week on MTV. (Ahem, you have a season pass set on the DVR.) The fact that you’re 40 just doesn’t seem right.

Are you sure that’s how old you are? And if it’s true, then why doesn’t it seem to faze you?

Continue reading

40 Things I Learned Before I Turned 40: Part Two

6 Jun

reflectionWhenever you hit a milestone in life, it’s only natural to reflect on what’s come before and pick out the takeaways you want to bring with you as you move forward.

I guess that’s my clunky, long-winded way of saying my 40th birthday (it’s tomorrow; maybe you’ve heard me mention something about it?) has resulted in me doing a bit of soul searching and reflection.

Last week, I shared the first 20 in my list of 40 things I’ve learned in my first 40 years of living. Today it’s time to share the second half of the list. (Unranked, just for the record.)

Sure, I’m no Navy Seal. But we all have our life lessons. These are some of mine. Continue reading

40 Things I Learned Before I Turned 40: Part One

30 May

paper and pencilSpend enough time doing something, and you’re bound to learn a few things along the way.

Such is the case with life.

Over the past 40 years, as I’ve lived a life full of ups and downs, I’ve learned many, many, many things. Some, of course, are the obvious ones: How to walk, talk, drive, cook, and write with decent grammatical ability.

But there are other things I’ve learned — important lessons that I hope will stick with me as I enter my 41st year. Many of these weren’t easy to learn, and some haven’t quite sunk in yet.

Regardless, I thought I’d put together a list of 40 lessons learned from 40 years of living. Here, with one week left till my actual birthday, are the first 20. Enjoy. Continue reading

38 Is Not the New 40

4 Jun

I’m turning 38 this week.

(Thursday, to be exact.)

I don’t tell you this so you can run out and get me a gift and/or a card and/or a cake and/or plan a party for me — though yes, any or all of that would be appreciated.

It’s more that I need to remind myself that I’m not turning 40 this year. Because all of a sudden, I feel like 40 is right around the corner and I’m not ready for it just yet. Continue reading

Sign of Aging #17

6 Oct

Sunday, when I was out and about, I bumped into a coworker of mine.

Actually, I also bumped into a former coworker, one I hadn’t seen in about six years.

This former colleague was with his kids, and he said to them, “Come meet my friend, Martin.”

Not 30 minutes later, I saw the current coworker, who was also with her kids. She introduced me too, except she told the kids that my name was “Mr. Lieberman.”

Forget my bad back or my noisy-neighbor complaints. When people start calling you Mr. whatever, you know you’ve gone past the getting old phase.

Now you’re actually old. Continue reading

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