Saturday, August 13, 2011

Relationships - New, Old And Renewed

After a great weekend retreat with teammates from our partner company, Bluepoint Leadership Development, and a red eye overnight flight from Portland, Oregon to Newark, New Jersey, I find myself arriving early to the parking lot of the Madison YMCA.
The retreat in Portland renewed great present days friendships, built deeper ones that had been missed and created some new ones.  It was a beautiful connection experience
Almost 30 years ago I was a YMCA professional and worked at the Madison Y. Today I will be having lunch with two teammates from that Y experience so many years ago.  It has been years since I have seen these two, one being almost that total 30 years.  What a treat lies ahead as old friendships are renewed after a generation of absence. It makes me energized and anxious at the same time. Much like the high school reunion I have coming up this Fall. Most of my high school classmates I have not seen for 40 years.
I am curious about both of these events. What will this reconnecting bring? I find that I live mostly in the present, then to the future, but the past is usually not a domain I spend time in. What curiosity drives me to reconnect with long ago relationships? I do think it is curiosity that drives me. What have these people been up to over all these years? How do they look? Old probably.  Of course I look the same as I did 30 years ago!  What will we talk about? Will it feel like old times and we pick up right where we left off? Will there be disappointment? I wonder if we will enjoy the get together and then that is it, never to reconnect again.
I believe I am more curious and interested in new relationships rather than the old ones. If that is true then the drive to reconnect today must have bigger meaning. I am not sure what that bigger meaning might be.  Or maybe it is just another opportunity to enjoy the moment that is in front of me.
Are we hard wired to prefer life long relationships or to seek out new ones?  Maybe it goes back to the age-old nature versus nurture debate. For those that spend their lives living in or close by their home town may be nurtured into liking and maintaining long term friendships. Or was it nature that always keeps pulling them to their roots?  I have moved several times including to a different country and several thousand miles from my home territory that I now visit today. Did my nature drive me to adventure and new locales? Or maybe moving away created my spirit for always wanting new relationships. Whichever it may be, my curiosity is peaked and the questions may be more interesting than the answers. In any case, it is time to go on into the YMCA and live momentarily in both the present and the past.