Reality Bites by James A. Norton


They say you get wiser as you get older – I say you get older as you get wiser…


Over the last month, I have learned a lot of things – I have learned how complicated a contract with a publishing house is, I have learned that losing a friend is sometimes harder than losing a family member, I have learned how family members can often times be the worst people you have ever met, I have learned that you become much more popular on social media when you have not one but two hate pages and I have learned that when it comes to planning a vacation, always go with your instincts.


That’s a lot to learn, in a short period of time, and quite frankly I feel like I have aged a decade in that same time span. It probably doesn’t help that I am even busier with work now than I have ever been and that I seem to be requiring less and less sleep as the days, weeks and months go flying by. The good news is, while I am tired and feeling a bit older than usual, I also feel invincible when it comes to the things I have planned for myself and my family.


I think the part that keeps me grounded, aside from my beautiful wife, is being able to interact with my kids and their kids much more than I had ever expected to as time goes on. My daughter is coming to visit with her husband and their beautiful baby girls this week – just in time for Mother’s Day. It’s nice that this holiday has come to mean something again in my life – I get to share it with my wife, my daughter, her daughters and my sisters-in-law by co-hosting a Mother’s Day brunch at our house.


Having never known what it was like to have siblings, I have embraced by wife’s family and appear to have a very good relationship with my sisters-in-law and a couple of my brothers-in-law. My wife and I truly enjoy spending time with both sides of our family on every holiday at our house and try to have non-Holiday get togethers more often than you’d think. Everyone has a great time at our house – and isn’t that what it’s supposed to be about – family, friends and fun?


So one of the things I have been trying to make up time on are the various interpersonal relationships that have slipped away over the past decade, for no good reason. They include people I have worked with, people from the old neighborhood, people I have met in my travels professionally and politically and those I went to school with – I grimace at the notion that I graduated from Somerville High 30 years ago this June.


And there’s the rub – I am doing stuff that makes me feel younger and more alive than ever before in my life – but at the same time, I have a greater sense of the time that has gone by. I don’t lament over years lost due to people who wasted my time or bad situations caused by someone else’s misplaced guilt and anger. I look back, take those experiences and meld them into my thought process now – making me more conscious of the things I say and do and how I react to different people I come into contact with. To me that’s how you become wiser, and older. #GMK

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