I'm A 46 Year Old Child

Last week I was on the phone with a friend and he said to me..."I'm a 46 year old child"...And when I heard it, it stopped me for moment and I thought "That's me too!"...Great! There's more than one of us...No wonder we get along.

Now I realize that I've been "adulting" for a while now and that somehow I've managed to get married, have a couple of great kids, stay married, be able to make some money, pay for private school, cover the mortgage...Do some things right, a bunch of things wrong...but generally "adulting" pretty well...And I wouldn't change any of that.

But I don't feel like an adult. When I look around at my contemporaries most of the time I feel like "those guys seem so old", they seem like well...adults...With their khakis and their bellies and their conversations about business, politics, taxes, interest rates, the market...

While age alone may make me an adult, it doesn't make me old. And it certainly doesn't prohibit me from still playing like a child. "You don't get stop playing because you get old. You get old because you stop playing."

There's a difference between acting like a child and playing like one....Unfortunately, too many adults act like children when they should act like adults and act like adults when they should act like children - I’ve been around enough kids sports to know this for certain!

Perhaps I'll be less of a child when I'm 56 or maybe even 66 but in the meantime, I'm not ready to stop playing like a child. I don't want to just coach baseball, I want to play baseball. I don't just want to go to my kids games, I want to be able to play kids games...I don't really want to get dressed up and go to a gala, sit at a round table of ten and make small talk. I want to go the concert in a pair of ripped jeans and a t-shirt. (*You can do both though...)

And I'm not talking about drinking and partying as "playing" either. We all have our own definition of fun, but that's not where I'm at. In fact, I'm writing this at 8:13pm on Saturday night AFTER we've already come home from dinner, got into sweats and are on the couch to watch a movie...I'm focused on having the energy, the physicality, the spirit, the exuberance of a child to embrace life, knowing that it's fleeting and concentrating on doing as many child-like activities as I possibly can, while keeping some of my child-like behavior in check and doing what feels natural to me.

So if that makes me a 46 year old child then ok - I'm learning to keep my inner child alive because life’s too boring otherwise.

In a piece by Jahanzib Khadir he says that "When you behave and act like an adult though, it is good for creating healthy self-esteem."

This doesn't mean you have to read The Times every morning or button up your suit, rather it is a way you treat yourself and others that reduces anxiety and negative self talk.

I know many adults who act immature and children whose behaviors are better than grey haired grown-ups. Whether you're 14 or 42, you have likely been taught some basics about acting maturely. The more childish you are in handling life's ups and downs, the worse you will feel in the long run.

We call it mature when you pay the bills early, on time, or set up an automatic payment to avoid getting a late fee, or worse yet hurting your credit score. When you think about how these mature actions affect your internal state, they breed more trust and control within yourself. Conversely, acting childish can lead to more problems and stress, and is a continual cycle down the self-esteem "rabbit hole."

Maturity doesn’t come with age...It comes with experience.

You can mature without sacrificing your inner child. In fact it's better because maturity enables you to have fun without being annoying or taking unnecessary risks.

I agree.

In Health -


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