How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
~ Satchel Paige
I ran across this quote during the week, which thrilled me because it’s one of my favorites and always causes me to smile. And while my answer to the question varies somewhat, I am never even close to my actual, chronological age.
Many people incorrectly guess my age as 10+ years younger, based on physical appearance. If they only knew my little secret: deep, down inside I’m really somewhere between 10 and 12.
Oh sure, I can be as grown-up and mature as the best of ‘em. I can be serious and intense and worry my head off. I can succumb to “work before play”, easily recalling the echoes of “You have to clean your room before you go outside!” And far too often, I get caught up in life’s drudgery and feel the weight of responsibilities on my shoulders.
But is this the way I want to live my life every day?
I have come to realize the importance of keeping the kid alive in me.
I try to welcome my high-spirited inner child into each new day. This means nurturing a sense of wonder. Keeping life as simple as possible. Often acting on instinct rather than analyzing every possibility ad nauseam. Relishing huge belly laughs. Exploring in the forest. Marveling at the night sky. Being silly. Not caring what people will think.
There are wonderful benefits to embracing my inner child. I continue to look at life as an adventure, with so many possibilities before me. I stay younger in spirit because I refuse to conform to the social expectations for my age group. I embrace what life sends my way, considering it a challenge and a way to strengthen my “Oh, yeah?” attitude.
The great gift in all of this is that I get to keep my hard-won wisdom as an adult and enjoy the abandon of being a kid. Not a bad blend, I think.
Your Call to Action
Pick one thing you loved doing as a kid and savor the memory. How did you feel at the time? What sights, sounds, words, and sensations were present? What was it about that activity that stands out for you? Now, summarize your feeling about that event in one word. What can you do this week to reintroduce that word/feeling into your life?