That phrase – “Act your age”…..nope. Not a fan and not a believer. See to me that simple phrase is an acknowledgement, an acceptance that you SHOULD behave a certain way and should only do certain things. Now I’m not talking about parents talking to older children about general behaviour. I AM talking about adults not engaging in fun for fun’s sake because it’s not the social norm – let me explain in a positive light.
There is a preconception that as we hit certain age milestones we should act certain ways – we should have achieved certain steps and we should BE this particular type of person. You know how children will run from place to place because they CAN…..they will walk along a low ledge, because they can…..they will skip, for no other reason than the simple fact that they can! And I love this. Now when you see an adult do it, it’s considered immature? What? I call it acting youthful and feeling joy for joy’s sake. I’m going to add the disclaimer that this all is done respectfully of other people’s space and property – otherwise someone will bring that point up. See acting youthfully and energetically goes a long way to actually being youthful and energetic. Some of the most spriteful and buoyant people I know are what society calls elderly people who have rediscovered a love of life and embrace it. And it’s infectious. Have you noticed when people are engaged in simple activities like hula hooping or something inane like hop-scotch, that others stop to watch? There is an inner yearning to join in because it looks like fun. And we definitely should.
When I taught adult acrobatics classes not so long ago, the biggest thing that participants wanted to learn was cartwheels and handstands, so that they could do it with their kids. Kids love doing these things because it’s fun. Not because it’s cool, not because it serves any particular purpose….it’s fun. We as adults can sometimes lose that simplistic view on things. Running simply for the joy of feeling the wind.
Cartwheeling because we feel happy. Walking along a rail because it’s more challenging than just following the path. Can I share something?…..grin…I’m going to anyway…… – I have this goal of always being able to control and walk around in a handstand and pulling off a standing backsault. I want to be the 60 year old father that can just pull that out for kids and grandkids one day. Simply because I love doing it.
I suppose the message for today that I want to impart, is that acting your age is entirely up to you. What is your age anyway? A lineal measurement of how many times the Earth orbits the sun? How you feel within yourself? I think we all need to act for our health, for our mental well-being and for our enjoyment. Act within parameters that do not hurt others, but rather, encourages those around you to participate as well.
Cheers Friends – Pete.