As you probably all know by now, I think growing up sucks and has been one of the greatest challenges in my life so far---that nightmarish, almost overnight transition from kid to adult.
A few people have responded to my attitude towards growing up by telling me that no one ever really HAS to grow up. In a way, I understand what they mean (and I'll get to that later), but actually, we DO grow up. All of us. Whether we like it or not, every single one of us grows up and gets older.
We have to face responsibilities.
We eventually have to let go of certain things.
At family gatherings, questions like "Did you have fun on the playground today?" turn into questions like "What are you doing with your life, and will I approve?"
Things change, and life doesn't slow down for anyone. So yes, we DO have to grow up.
But there are some ways we can practice seeing life through the eyes of a child again, and I want to share those ways with you. If I miss anything, feel free to share your own ways in the comments.
~ Ways to recapture life through the eyes of a child ~
1. Stay present. Children don't spend time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Whatever they're experiencing, they experience it fully. They know how to be involved in every moment. I know "stay present" is one of the oldest sayings ever, but it's something I try to practice regularly.
2. Tell the truth. Younger children are very honest, and most of them don't understand the concept of lying. Ask them what they saw, they'll tell you what they saw. Ask them what someone said, they'll tell you what that person said. Ask them how they feel, they'll tell you how they feel. It's okay to be honest with yourself and others---unless you're protecting yourself or someone else from a potential threat or something. (Example ~ You're shopping at a somewhat shady and deserted grocery store in the middle of the night when two large, intimidating dudes approach you and ask if you're alone. Obviously, you'd tell them that your 250 pound body guard wasn't far behind.)
3. Be amazed. Everything is exciting to children. When they discover something new, all is right in the world. They take the time to really notice things. There is always something to be amazed about. Just look around.
4. Stop judging others. Children see human beings as nothing more than human beings. They don't care about your social status, financial status, the way you look, your sexuality, what you do for a living, what you do or don't have, etc. They see you as a person. Treat people like human beings, and don't label them or put them in a box based on your opinion of them.