One of my favorite songs is Bob Seger's "Against the Wind." Being somewhat overly nostalgic, it's always resonated with me, even when I was a teenager. In 1984, we were on a weekend trip at a resort in Wisconsin (a longer story for another post), and I was incredibly bored and listened to the only tape I brought for my Walkman over and over, just songs taped off the radio. One of the songs was "Against the Wind" and somehow, only at 13, I recognized the reflection the lyrics invoke, of being young and taking life head on, growing up in a blink of an eye and being wiser yet a little sad. Of course, just about every Bog Seger song is about that same theme ("Beautiful Loser," "Like a Rock", "Night Moves", "Roll Me Away," you can even make a case for "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll"), but this one always stuck with me.
Another reason I like "Against the Wind" so much — the line: "Those drifter days are past me now, I got so much more to think about, deadlines and commitments, what to leave in, what to leave out" — which is essentially as a newspaper journalist, a copy editor no less, was what I was living and still do. More in a literal sense than the metaphorical sense Seger was driving at, but still, it does hit home a little. Also, it's a summer song (it was a single in 1980), which always brings back the nostalgia a little stronger.
Anyway, a mildly scary thought occurred to me several weeks back — I am older than Bob Seger when he wrote that song. Granted, 27 years ago, mid-30s was older than it is today, but the sense of just being tired is the same, of looking a little bit of peace, at least for me (partly because those deadlines and commitments), though more so before I made the switch to part-time. Seger found that peace, at least I hope he did — and I just want to preface this that I liked this song before I found this coincidence out — he became a stay-at-home dad in the 1990s after he had more kids, taking a long break from touring and recording.