This is an interesting question and one that gets discussed in my office frequently, just not always as a question but more of a statement. The statement typically goes like this, "John, I just don't feel 60." It's a statement made in relation to the realization that people are quitting work, moving onto the next "season" of their lives and quite honestly the years between 20 and 60 seem to go by in the blink of an eye. Look, I get it. Trust me, I don't feel 40. Actually, more accurately, I feel 40, but I don't always THINK like I am 40, or always ACT like I am 40. So, I began to look into this issue and it turns out that most people, if not all, feel exactly the same way. When I start asking questions, almost always, the Universe begins to present the answers to me in ways that I did not expect. And it happened again...
Scrolling through some social media posts about a month back, I found this beauty. I read the book Tuesdays with Morrie several years ago and had completely forgotten about this quote, but have since rediscovered it and think about it frequently.
"The truth is, part of me is every age. I'm a three-year old, I'm a five-year-old, I'm a thirty-seven-year-old, I'm a fifty-year-old. I've been through all of them, and I know what it's like. I delight in being a child when it's appropriate to be a child. I delight in being a wise old man when it's appropriate to be a wise old man. Think of all I can be! I am every age, up to my own." - Morrie Schwartz, Tuesdays with Morrie
Wow. That entirely captures this feeling. I once told a client a few years ago that it was weird to be 38, yet still sometimes think and act like I'm 16. She laughed and said, "Wait until you're 67 and feel the same way."
This past Tuesday was the last day of summer vacation, the day before the kids went back to school. Late in the evening at bedtime I was sitting at the end of my 9 year old daughter's bed, a 40 year old man giving advice about social relationships and calming the nerves of an excited and nervous soon to be 4th grader. Yet, several hours earlier I was riding go karts with my 6 year old son, acting like a 6 year old little boy celebrating the unofficial end to summer. In both moments, I reveled in the age it was appropriate to be in each situation. In one moment I was the wise old father, in the other I was a little boy finding pure joy in a go kart. As I get older I'm finding that might just be the benefit in aging; being able to be every age, up to your own. Don't let it get away from you. BE EVERY AGE. Act like a 60 year old when it's appropriate and act like a 6 year old when it's appropriate. Never let go of the child that is still within...because racing go karts and sliding on slip-n-slides is still within your soul and it feels just as good in the moment as it did when you were a kid. The next day...not so much, but it's still worth every bit of it.
Take some time this week to do fun things with your kids, grandkids, friends, neighbors, anyone. Ride bikes, have a water balloon fight, run through the sprinkler...heck, stand in the driveway and shoot the hose straight up in the air and let the water rain down on you. Do anything...just be sure you're having fun and acting the appropriate age for those activities.