Another year in the books | Planet Ryan - Republic-Times | News

Another year in the books | Planet Ryan

By on March 2, 2016 at 8:05 am

Folks, it’s the time of year when my hairline recedes a little bit more and my desire to take naps increases. On Saturday, I advanced to the ripe old age of 34.

I know, I know, 34 isn’t “old,” but as my dad was kind enough to remind me, I’m 16 years away from 50 – not that 50 is “old.” Not at all. But I digress…

Over the weekend, after I gained another year of wisdom and spent the weekend with amazing friends, it hit me – friends really are that important. It struck me like a ton of bricks, because one of my good friends in attendance jokingly called me the “phantom” when I arrived to the party.

He meant it in the most endearing way possible, but suddenly I realized I have most certainly exhibited phantom-like actions over the past few months. With a busy workload, it’s easy to just tell yourself that you’ll get out and socialize tomorrow, or the next day, or the next week… and so on.

Before you know it, weeks and months pass by. Sure, everyone’s life moves forward, but at some point the realization hits you that life just isn’t quite as fun without friends to share it with.

I mean, I’m not trying to sound like a Hallmark card, but it’s true. Friends are awesome and I was reminded of that over the weekend with good food, great beer and plenty of laughs from people who truly care.

Life moves too fast not to sit back and soak up those kinds of moments. I know I wrote a similar column on that topic a few years ago, but at least for me, it’s an important reminder that I need to continually make an effort to act on.

Just think about that the next time a friend calls and asks you to do something. It’s easy to make an excuse and take a rain check, but remember that — Heaven forbid – it could be the last time you get the chance to smile with them.

Here’s to 34 and hopefully, many more. Cheers!

Ryan Ledendecker

Ryan is a biweekly columnist for the Republic-Times newspaper. When he's not working, he enjoys a good movie, bass fishing, and CrossFit.