“Oh…to be young again!”
How often have we made that statement and what are we really trying to say?
To explore this statement a little further, I asked a few of my friends about what being young again means to them. Here is what they said…
“To have today’s wisdom back when I was younger so that I could move forward decisively”
“Take the time to travel, see the world, meet people from all walks of life and experience more cultures of the world”
“Take my education seriously and pursue higher education; go to school longer”
“I would appreciate and listen to the wisdom and experience of my parents”
“I would definitely take more time to establish and get to know myself before I would commit to a serious relationship”
“Let nature take its course”
These were all great answers about what they might change if they had the chance to be young again. I wanted to explore a little deeper about what was different for our younger self than now. This is what I got…
“Lots and lots of sex!”
“I wasn’t in pain every day”
“Unencumbered by painful memories of life’s toughest lessons”
“Life was carefree and worry free”
“Lots of laughter”
“More time with friends and family”
“Time was my own and time was flexible”
“There were hopes, dreams, and unlimited possibilities”
“Endless energy (even after an all-nighter)”
“We played and played, in the neighbourhood; we practically lived outdoors”
“Sports, sports and more sports!”
While we can’t turn back the hands of time, we can pay attention to the insights of our youth. The common themes that emerged were…
Play, laughter, fun, possibilities, and time.
The wisdom of our age has certainly helped us to realize the importance of gratitude and appreciation of people and opportunities. It seems however that we strongly desire an important part of our youth – the power to play.
People will say that between personal and professional responsibilities, there’s no time to play. Yet laughter, time with friends, freedom, sports and all things that come with letting go and taking time to play, is what we desire.
Research tells us that play is just as important for adults as it is for children. “We don’t lose the need for novelty and pleasure as we grow up,” according to Scott G. Eberle, Ph.D., vice president for play studies at The Strong and editor of the American Journal of Play.
So what do we do?
The answer is quite simple. Play.
Make time in your day or week to play. Take a moment to laugh. Ensure that you spend quality time with friends and family. Do a sport or activity that you enjoy. Whether it be a day trip to the beach, a hike through nature or a vacation to your favourite destination, find a means to get away and include some sort of travel in your life. Continue to set goals and dreams for your future.
If you do this, what will you notice? Play, laughter, possibilities, fun, and time.
Go ahead, play today!
Thank you to all of my friends who shared their thoughts and insights for this post. I truly value and appreciate your contribution.