Thursday, November 12, 2015

the trick is growing up without growing old


A few weeks ago, my friend Scott and I are pedalling our way around a dark and empty roundabout; lap after lap. He yells up to me; curious... "I wonder if part of being an adult is not biking home from the bar?" ...

And just the other night I found myself wondering... 'is there going to come a time where I stop putting brain-shaped ice cubes into my wine?'

There's a lot of talk around me these days about graduation. Most people that I started school with are in their final year of their undergrad. They'll soon be university graduates. Possessors of undergraduate degrees. That's very grown-up. A university graduate.

So here I am. Surrounded by near-graduates, and yet I don't feel like a grown-up. I don't think I ever will.

This has got me thinking. Why have we come to associate growing-up with seriousness, with having no fun, with organization, ..? I'm not grown up because I bike home from the bar and I put brain-shaped ice cubes in my wine?
... okay, also because this morning I was at the grocery store check-out buying a stick of butter and a mango, only to realize I didn't have any means to pay for them... Had my whole wallet, yet no cards in it, nor any cash. Organization. And also, because I've gone commando for three consecutive days now because doing laundry is never something that crosses my mind. Responsibility. 

The recreation student in me will say that growing-up certainly does not require having less fun. Maybe a little more organization could do. And a touch more responsibility. But I've studied various 'theories of play' enough times now to confidently say that play is important throughout all stages of your life. From the infant stages until the day you die.

So to answer Scott's inquiry... if part of being an adult is not biking home from the bar? No. Growing-up is about continuing to laugh, continuing to play, to have more fun than you've ever had before. Organization and responsibility, yes. But growing up isn't all bad.

"The trick is growing up without growing old." - Casey Stengel   

With all this being said; tonight I sit here worried about how my exam is going to go tomorrow. Worried about my future plans. Thinking about how growing-up is no fun at all. But then again; tomorrow I leave for a cottage weekend with some of my best pals. A weekend on Fox Point Lake; frolicking in the kayaks, laughing around the fire, dancing under the moonlight, jumping naked in Fox Point's waters. Excited for what tomorrow brings. Thinking about how growing-up is a true blessing. 

I constantly return to the words of an old friend of mine; "you'll never be this young again, but this is the first time you've ever been this old." Two sides of the same coin.

This is a very interesting TedTalk; "Play is more than just fun", by Stuart Brown.