JOHN NORTON: Chill out, man, I’m not turning into a hippie

My favorite president is Ronald Reagan.

I have no piercings, or tattoos and am a person of faith. I wear my seat belt. I’ve never smoked a cigarette, let alone anything else.

I was reared on a farm and still believe in the basic goodness of most people. A conservative by most all accounts, right?

But yet my son thinks I’m turning into a hippie.

A hippie! Sacrilege!

Pardon me, young buck. I call it self-actualization.

He’s almost 24. I’m 48. Lived twice as long. Those 24 years of life, well, they can change a man.

When I was 24, I was like him in so many ways. Looking to buy my first home, starting a career. With energy to burn, money to earn and plenty of wants to yearn.

Now having done much of what he aspires to do, I’ve started to think about life beyond the rat race.

Maybe that’s normal mid-life pondering. What’s next? What’s after work?

Maybe it’s the natural progression of things. The circle of life. I don’t hurry as much. I try not to worry as much. I’ve learned there is much outside of your control in this life.

I think it’s the circle back to the core. Back to family roots. Simple pleasures.

So when I tell my son not to be a slave to a mortgage for 30 years, that there’s more to life than working, well, it’s because I have the benefit of hindsight.

You can lose sight of what’s really important, if you fall into the trap of tunnel vision. And the years tick by.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. And I like naps. They give you strength for the next mile. I’m running a 5k next month, so this old buck can still run with the kids.

This self actualization is fun. I’ve forced myself to try new things, to get out of the comfort zones we all hide in. I’m learning to embrace change.

Heck, I might even let my hair grow long.

Well, because I can.

Does anyone have any Jimi Hendrix 8 tracks I can borrow? Can you dig it? Peace!

 John Norton is publisher of the Pioneer. Contact him at

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