This is homecoming weekend at UNC-Chapel Hill. Am looking forward to seeing old friends, visiting old haunts, celebrating and…oh yeah…I think they’ll have a football game.
There are lots of types of homecomings. Families have them (reunions); churches, high schools and colleges, some companies have them.
The focus is usually on returning “home” to revisit places, people, emotions, triumphs, sorrows…memories.
One of America’s literary giants, Thomas Wolfe, once wrote, “You can’t go home again.” True in some ways, but we keep trying.
Fifty years before I was in college and a member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, Thomas Wolfe was a member of the same fraternity. In the ‘70s I had an opportunity to talk with one of his contemporaries and Mr. Harper told me that when Wolfe first joined the fraternity he was not known for bathing regularly—he was a mountain boy and once-a-week baths were the norm—so the members jumped him one night, threw a blanket over him and whacked him with broomsticks…(needless to say it was a different day in terms of hazing) after the experience Wolfe bathed regularly. Wolfe later wrote a friend saying, “Joining the fraternity is one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
In most cases, returning “home” is a good thing, even if it means remembering sorrows or defeats. A visit allows you to measure how far you’ve come since the less-than-good times. That’s me. While walking across campus reminds me of classes skipped, time wasted and opportunities lost I enjoy remembering the good times.
We all go home in our minds on a regular basis. Unfortunately, studies show we ruminate on the bad stuff much more than on the good stuff. That sort of thinking spirals us down into less than positive states of mind.
Make this a homecoming weekend for yourself even if you aren’t going to one. In your mind or on paper or computer come up with ten good things from the past. Neuroscientists tell us that creating the list and thinking about the positive experiences makes us healthier.
Go home. It’ll be good for you.
Have a great weekend. See you Monday.