Despite appearances to the contrary, age does have some advantages.
Not simply in terms of restaurant discounts or the generous latitude taken in terms of wardrobe selection.
But more so in its gift of clarity.
An enriched field of vision not found by wearing bifocals. But a line of sight only afforded by the passage of time.
An ability to see around, through and over the challenges of life. A wisdom to understand them for what they really are.
You see, life is always and in all ways, a building process.
It might not seem like it at the time, but even those brutally abrupt endings are a part of this construction process.
And with many of you upperclassmen and women coming upon more than your fair share of endings these days, one thing is for certain.
Regardless of how your moment ended, just because the uniform is turned in or the notes are played for the last time doesn’t mean that part of you need dissipate or disappear.
Under no circumstances should that side of you be discarded as if it no longer exists or is needed.
There is a permanence to what you made of yourself.
A personal legacy that only you could create.
A solely individual tradition founded on effort, reinforced in commitment and guided by growing self-mastery.
The enduring dividend meant to be held in escrow for future re-investment.
So just because certain goals can longer be your immediate aim, that does not mean that what they represented no longer matters.
Or that you should risk any less.
Avoid any attempt because outcomes associated with future pursuits might seem to have been somehow “predestined.”
Or that you view this moment as being your “one and done”.
The one shot that you would ever get, are “owed” or deserve.
You have to keep at it.
Building and rebuilding. Building again, ever anew with all those lessons learned.
And wisdom earned.
Tools once employed but “turned in” at end of a season or a last performance, will yet be needed.
As part of the ongoing, on the job training, that “is” life.
A skill set that not simply meant to be carried around – but honed and carried forward.
It may not seem like it now, but you do have a life full of similar moments ahead of you.
It is just that these may not require a jersey.
But if you honor your legacy and hold to your tradition, your dividend can be re-invested as often as you see fit.
Not entirely risk free.
But then again, nothing worthwhile is.
But you did it once.
And when the next moment arrives, you will be ready just the same.
Because as this old guy see’s it, this is all a part of the process.
Of being built for a moment yet to come.