“Glory Days” was the fifth single released off of Bruce Springsteen’s album Born in the USA. The video first aired in June, 1985. As someone who spent a lot (I mean A LOT) of time watching MTV, I saw this video at least a hundred times. My take on it?
I mean, get over it, Man. Quit whining. Move on. Do something with yourself.
I was 15.
I turned 50 last week. A couple weeks ago I heard “Glory Days”, and I thought, “Man, Bruce, you are so right.”
Don’t get me wrong. I love my life. Don’t flood me with comments about how Colonel Sanders never fried a chicken until he was 62 or any other reinvention story.
It’s not about reinvention so much as it’s about perspective for me.
Of course I couldn’t appreciate that song at 15. It wasn’t written for me.
There is a line from a Mulligan Brothers song that says, “I’m pretty old to drink, but still pretty young to think that my future might be shorter than my past.” At 50, odds are my future will be shorter than my past.
That doesn’t mean the “glory” days are behind me. It simply means a change in perspective around what that glory looks like.
Franciscan Monk Richard Rohr writes that the first half of life is about establishing one’s identity and security. It’s about collecting. The second half is about giving away, reaching a deeper sense of identity through connection, connection with God, with others, and with the world around us.
I don’t think you can understand that at 15.
But at 50, absolutely.
I am grateful for what’s behind me and look forward to what is in front of me.