As I sat playing Sonic The Hedgehog late last night, my oldest daughter who is now 16 actually took a moment to watch. A break from being the cool teenager, the varsity cheerleader, and the bookworm. I’m delighted to see her spending time with me! As parents with teenagers know, those moments are few and far between!
As she looked on, she let me know “Dad, I don’t like Sonic.” “Whaaaaat! How could you not like Sonic?” I said. He’s the fastest thing alive? She said (in her usual sophisticated teenage voice), “The game is messy, too much going on. Between his speed, moving patterns in the background, too many enemies, I can’t keep up.” Then she went back upstairs to her normal teenage routine.
As I continued to play one of my favorite childhood games, I started thinking about my life as Vintage Retroman. Could there possibly be a lesson in what she said? I believe there is. When we are going so fast in life that everything becomes a blur, life can become messy. Remember that you can’t be everything to everyone all of the time.
When running your race, focus on the goal and pace yourself. Remember that you should never run the race of others. Eliminate the background noise of busyness and focus on what is truly important. Remember that it is possible to be the jack of all trades, yet the master of none. One of my favorite characteristics about Sonic The Hedgehog is that as fast as he is, he paces himself to conquer each zone, one at a time. He never leaves his friends behind (well, occasionally tails but who’s counting😊) and he always keeps his eyes on the prize, which are those Chaos Emeralds.
I have been guilty of running the race of others. At times I still struggle with trying to do everything. When I think back to Christmas of 1991, my first time playing Sonic The Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis, pure nostalgia sets in. Back then, life was much slower. As an 8 year old kid, the only race I ran was with my friends outside in the neighborhood before the street lights came on. Times have changed, but principles don’t.
I encourage you all to run your race and pace yourself. Try not to get so caught up in the pressure that you can’t focus on your goals. Give yourself grace from time to time as you push to do your best. Remember that life is a vapor, it goes so quick. Lastly, take time to invest in yourself and your health, so you can be your best for everyone else. Signing off for now, V.R.