“Don’t Grow Up, It’s a Trap”

I wasn’t sure if I’ve seen this quote before or not.  Either way, it gives one pause.  When I first saw it, I thought, ‘yeah!’  Most of us think we want the youthful body we once had, but with youth comes other things.  So now, upon a bit of reflection, I’m actually reconsidering my initial take: would we really go back and do it again if we could? It also raises the question: how do we choose to view adulthood?  Is it all about responsibilities and stress, or is it about being in control and able to shape it into what we want it to be?  I thought it might be fun to consider what we had in our youth vs. what we gain as we age, both from a positive perspective.  

Wonder vs. Appreciation

Seeing or experiencing things with a sense of wonder is what kids do best. They are in the moment, losing themselves in whatever they’re doing at that time.  But the gift of adulthood is the ability to truly appreciate the moment through the lenses of experience and understanding.

As adults, we have the choice of appreciating the moment while children don’t have the history of time to understand the value of looking back. As adults we have the ability to be present enough to recapture the feelings if we so choose.

Absorption vs. Independence

Kids have the luxury of not having a lot of different items buzzing through their mind at any given moment, so they are fantastic at being present.  Nothing else matters other than what they have in front of them.  Kids see things in black in white.  

As adults, we get to see the nuances of situations.  There are gray areas, things aren’t black and white.  We have earned the right to be independent in our decision making in order to facilitate our journey to what we want it to be.  We get to make the decision of how to be, explore and act!  We get to make a plan. Being more financially independent, a bit more emotionally stable (we can hope), is having the freedom to make a choice.  

Excitement and Impatience vs. Wisdom

Life can be intoxicating as a kid!  Kids get incredibly excited yet impatient to get to the next stage.  Their limited life experience makes everything an adventure. Adults have learned to have patience with the journey.  We know there is the next step or the next stage in our lives to look forward to and savor, each phase having a sweetness.

Endless vs. Limited Time

Time was endless when we were kids.  That went both ways.  I remember impatiently sitting on Saturday mornings with my parents as they drank their, what seemed to me, endless cup of coffee. As an adult, we all wish for more time, which gives us the appreciation of our time spent.

Coming into the new year, it’s a great time to reflect on where we are currently at and where we are going, physically, emotionally, etc.  As adults, we get to choose our interpretation of how we perceive the world.  Hopefully, with maturity comes wisdom, and wisdom in knowing things can change, and that we have the ability to drive our destiny.  

As we enter into the new year, we can choose to have hope and excitement, or trepidation and stress. Is it a game we get to play with ourselves?  Absolutely.  So what does this have to do with our physical health and well being? Well, everything!  You get to choose your next step.  You have the right to decide how to think about your current situation and your approach moving forward.  This isn’t to say depression, pain, and stress aren’t real, they are.  But our brain, being the plastic awesome organ that it is, gives us the ability to cognitively interpret our surroundings.  By recognizing that, we start to take control of our lives and empower ourselves to see the world in the way we choose to see it. Growing up might just the the best thing that ever happened to you.