Tuesday, May 17, 2011

ON FUN ~ Peter Pan Never Did, Why Should I...?

Peter Pan Nose

At the age of 45, writer Regina Brett wrote a column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer listing 45 lessons that life had taught her thus far. As a breast cancer survivor, many of those lessons were learned the hard way. Five years later she added five more lessons rounding her list up to 50 and turned her popular list into a book called God Never Blinks. I found her list to be entertaining, inspiring and thought provoking. I thought I would go through each of her lessons learned and write about how that lesson has or has not come up in my own life, now that I am 40 and feel old enough to have finally learned something.

"It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else."
~ LESSON #19

I am a lucky Bumble. I had lots of happy moments in my childhood. There was lots of adversity to overcome with the many moves my family made and I had lots of tormentors as the constant New Kid. But I survived and remember the fun and friends and adventures much more than the bullies and broken hearts and hard work. I hope that most of you had enough happiness to offset the misery of childhood as well.

I am also lucky in the respect that I never truly grew up. I went off to college and enjoyed playing as well as studying. I prolonged that fun during my twenties as a single gal enjoying the dating scene and the excitement of supporting myself and bonding with roommates. In my thirties I eventually "settled down" with Andy, but without kids we were free to travel and go to sporting events, concerts and pretty much any other fun activity that suited our fancy and budget.

So I think that my entire life has pretty much been a happy childhood. One spent learning how to have fun, guided by my elders and another spent just having fun as a reward for my hard work in the real world. I'm now at the start of my forties and recognize that at some point other facets of life will require more attention than just my passing fancies. My health needs to be more closely cared for so my aging body doesn't hamper my desires. My expenses need to be properly allocated for future living needs. Other loved ones are in need of my time and devotion. But that doesn't mean that I will stop having fun or striving for a happy childhood.

The way I see it, growing up doesn't mean you have to be a Grown Up. Find a way to have fun in your life on your terms every now and then. That inner child wants to come out and play. Why keep it grounded?


stacybuckeye said...

Hm. What to say. Jason cracks me up with all that he wants to do with Gage. His childhood, unlike mine and yours, was pretty much crap, and I am so happy that he's going to get another one with our son :)

Matty said...

My childhood was fun and good for the most part. I say "most part" because my dad was rather strict and difficult to have fun around, and I also wasn't the most popular kid either. But it was good overall.

At my age, I still haven't grown up. My wife and kids often roll their eyes when they see how I act. Life is too short to act grown-up all the time.

Jenny Girl said...

I too do not feel like I need to act grown up or different now that I am of a certin age. I am who I am, and will continue to be slightly goofy for the rest of my life.

I did not have a bad childhood, but we struggled financially growing up, and I think if anything it made me a better person. I appreciate things more now and have a strong work ethic. You have to earn what you want, but you also have to enjoy the little things. Be who you are and accept people, things, and circumstances as they are. Oh now I think I'm rambling :)

Excellent post!

kaye said...

what a great lesson. My mom taught me a similar lesson when I had my first baby. She told me to play with her, and enjoy every minute because before I knew it she would be grown. I'm glad she told me that. I tried to keep that thought in my head when times with the baby (toddler, child, teenager) were not perfect. It really helped me to have fun with her, enjoy her and look back without regret.

Kathleen said...

I will never lose my inner child. I'm almost 48 and still young at heart!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Hmmm. Well, I had a carefree childhood and wanted for nothing major. But I'm not sure if I would call myself a child in an adult body at this point. I tend to be overly responsible, and take things seriously. I think it would do me some good to lighten up.

Margot said...

My childhood was a happy one but I was the oldest of four kids so I always felt responsible and it carried over into my adult life. I thoroughly enjoyed my children's childhood and now my granddaughter's. Very good advice in this post Molly.

Lin said...

Oh, I think I'm still a kid too. And having kids allows me to be silly and have fun--even when the other parents look at me funny. I think life is too short NOT to have fun!