Children are naturally hedonistic. They play recklessly, eat carelessly and dream unreasonably. Over the years, society drills into our heads that pretty much everything fun is either “wrong” or “bad for you.”
Chocolate becomes “sinful.” Playing is a “waste of time.” We are encouraged to stop dreaming so much and “get real” about our future.
In many cases, the advice that others give us is correct and helpful. After all, does anyone really think that eating McDonalds twice a day is a good idea? But, it occurs to me that there is a side-effect of the “if it feels good, it must be bad” mentality that we develop over the years.
Have you ever felt guilty for taking time away from your work to go for a walk? Did you feel like you were being unproductive? Are there simple pleasures that you enjoyed when you were younger – like playing video games or riding a bike – that you abandoned because they were “childish?”
As parents and grandparents, we are often expected to be so serious. Isn’t it time that we lightened up a bit and stopped thinking about what other people think of the simple pleasures in our lives.
Isn’t it time that we told the little voice in our heads that tells us our passions are silly to “get a life?” If something is important to you, it is important. Period.
Children can teach us so much about getting the most from life after 60. They can remind us to be curious. They can tell us that talking to strangers is actually ok. They can remind us to love our bodies – and so much more!
What silly, frivolous or childish things do you love to do? Do you agree that we often turn away from the small things that have the potential to make us happy because they are unproductive or silly? Please join the discussion.