Once upon a time nearly 43 years ago, I grew up on an idyllic lake just south of a small city in Central Minnesota, U.S. of A. In the summer, I woke up, put on my Coca-Cola swimsuit and ran down the hill to the lake to obtain all the freckles I could while floating the day away on a Sunkist soda floatie only to be interrupted for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Dukes of Hazzard. In the other months, I got out my sled, rake, or bike and wandered around the 90 acres of sorghum field in front of the house or plopped down on the grass and snow. I was outside most of the time, sneaking raspberries from the neighbor’s garden or investigating the death of frog on the quiet country road that led to my house. My “nuclear” family would implode after my only-a-year-younger brother would leave the house.
Today, I live in the big city of Minneapolis, a city with great inequities desperately attempting to do the right thing. My two teenaged sons spend the bulk of their time with me while I sit at our little dining room table training on respectful workplace issues, interviewing witnesses in a workplace investigation, or calming a client down after a threat-laden interaction with a former employee. While we would normally be planning our next adventure, we huddle together trying to avoid a deadly disease playing gin rummy or watching the latest action comedy. Right now, this is success and the good life.
So, what would I say to my 13-year-old self?