Trapped? or Liberated?

Help!  I’m a 12 year old trapped in a 44 year old’s body! I’m not sure how it happened but I can’t escape…

I’ve said that a couple of times when I get the “seriously, grow up” look.  I’m sorry, but I just don’t take myself overly seriously the majority of the time.  I spent the first, say 34 years, of my life being a stodgy, stick-up-my-ass, serious, over-achiever-adult-on-a-mission.  I had plans and goals and wouldn’t rest or play until I achieved them.  Okay, I still have moments where I am that person, but I’ve learned to let go.

I was talking about how quickly kids grow up with another mom at the school.  My perspective – I’m not a fan.  That’s right:  Not.  A.  Fan.  She teased that I had never grown up so maybe my kids won’t in the end either!  Nice. 🙂

‘Kooky’             ‘Quirky’                 ‘Eccentric’             ‘Unique’            ‘Goofy’

Those are my labels.  Not my own for me.  Those are the labels others have given me; at least to my face.  I’ve heard others that are used behind my back:

‘Weird’             ‘Strange’            ‘Immature’         ‘Odd’          ‘Crazy’

It’s funny though that the latter are only used behind my back because  I don’t find any of them terribly offensive.  I may even use them to describe myself on occasion.

Those are labels placed on me by people who only see me as the whirling dervish of activity, surrounded by loud, happy kids.  They only see me through their adult eyes:  a childish adult.  If they could separate themselves from their own image of themselves for a moment and see me through the eyes of the kids I mentor:  they’d see I’m really just a kid inside and having a lot of fun.

Gramps told mom when she was young that she never had to grow up.  He gave her permission to stay young [at heart].  In fact, he encouraged her not to let adulthood ‘ruin’ her.  I think that’s just brilliant!  My mother listened; she never grew up either and tells the story proudly (if not a little petulantly, lol).  In turn, she gave my sister and I permission not to grow up too.  I ignored the allure of childishness for a long time, but I’ve been won over.

When my sister, my mother and I are out and about together, we seem to be a great source of entertainment for those around us.  Unintentionally.  We can’t help it:  we make everything look like so much fun!  We are all very young at heart together and we don’t take much seriously, we are goofy and we can laugh in the face of tragedy.  Life is so much simpler in those moments.

I see the look on the faces of grown ups around us, looking at us, almost longingly.  I don’t mean they want our bodies!  I mean they want to be part of us.  They can’t seem to help themselves.  And why not?  No topic is taboo, we laugh and poke fun.    In short: We ARE fun!

I’m not sure how many believe that being young at heart is important to one’s overall well-being, but I do.  I’ve been the stodgy, stressed out, mature adult.  It gave me ulcers.  I much prefer the ‘new’ me.

Since I gave all that being-a-grown-up crap up, I feel generally more healthy, I eat better, I exercise more regularly, I have less stress (stress is not anxiety!), I’m kinder, gentler and more tolerant.  I have more fun, I smile and laugh.  I stand taller, I walk with my head up (not looking at my feet, lost in thought).  My skin glows and I have no deep age lines (I don’t look anywhere near 44, apparently).  I’ve rediscovered my curiosity for the magic that is our planet and share it with the kids in my care, I see failure as a step to success instead of simply failure and this improves my psyche.  In short, all good things.

After thinking it all through, I’ve think I’ve come to decide I should change how I respond when I want to make light of someone’s disapproval of my childishness:

Help!  I’m a 12 year-old, LIBERATED in this 44 year old’s body!



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