The Joys of Being a Grown-up

Making a music video is a very grown-up thing to do

I have a friend who posted a picture of her husband with the Spike Ball game he received for a Father’s Day gift. Now, I didn’t really know what Spike Ball was but when I saw it, I thought “I want to play this game!”

I have been thinking a lot lately about the opportunities we forego as adults. Where is our sense of fun? What happened to the dreams and ambitions of youth? Why did we become such stick-in-the-muds? Actually, not everyone has become a fuddy-duddy but it’s worth examining the phenomenon.

Let me take you back quite a few years, to when I was about 13. I had gotten a rather humble set of weights for Christmas, and I would dutifully do the exercises in the accompanying booklet while listening to records on my equally humbling record player. I dreamed of the day when I could fulfill all of my dreams which included access to a modern gym and better audio equipment.

These days, I have both of these things as well as more.

One of the biggest lies we’re told when we are kids is that “These are the best, most care-free days of your life.” I’m not really buying it.

Adults get to choose (for the most part) what they wear, eat, and do. You can watch television shows of your choice or not watch TV at all. You can read good books, read social media, or not read.

The important points are this:

— As an adult, you get to choose. However powerless you might have felt as a child, you have that power now.

— Your choices are important. How you spend your time is how you spend your life.

I suspect we abdicated our right to frivolity and silliness because we wanted to be taken seriously. And perhaps the biggest casualty of this mindset is the loss of our ability to have good, clean fun.

In the past few years, my friends and I have made serious business out of fun. Together, we’ve had scavenger hunts, done escape rooms, dance parties, and costume parties. We’ve run in the rain, kayaked in the dark, and watched the sun come up together. We’ve road-tripped, sung in chorus, and played games into the night. In short, we’ve worked hard at playing.

Whenever I start to take myself too seriously or feel the weight of responsibility, I remind myself, “It’s not the load, it’s how you carry it.”

I have a friend who never misses an opportunity to marvel at an unusually beautiful cloud formation or landscape. She reminds me to cultivate the childlike sense of awe and wonder that renews our spirit.

Friday night, this friend and I, along with others, were caught in a torrential storm that left us soaked and perhaps a little shaken from the nearby lightning. Still, after we dried off and were eating frozen yogurt, we could see it as another successful event, a fun trip taken together. As G.K. Chesterton said, “An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.” We considered our inconvenience and decided it was another adventure in what we hope will be many more to come.

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