Should we be growing “down” rather than growing “up”?

While I was travelling earlier this year I came across people in their 20s who were doing amazing things, travelling the world, doing what they enjoyed and yet they would tell me it was time to go home and be a grown up. It was always said in a rather sad way and seemed to say – what I am doing doesn’t consist of a grown up state. As though finding your own path, doing what you want and really enjoying it isn’t adult enough.

It seems that being a grown up is getting a bad rap because of the connotations of what growing up means. Being grown up seems to equate to “being responsible”, doing what you think “should” be done and what others expect of you.

At the age of 37 I still rejoice in play and find delight, joy and laughter in everyday life. I revel in the fact that I still enjoy all most of the things that my nieces and nephews who are all under the age of 15 still like and enjoy. Personally I am keen to enjoy life, find pleasure in my daily routine, to laugh and jump and love what I am doing. And that seems to be much closer to what it was a like when we were kids.

Perhaps we should be trying to grow “down”, back to the authentic selves of our childhood rather than growing “up”.

The idea of play and fun in adults seems to be gaining momentum and I am so on that bandwagon. I have ideas for running events and programmes where the whole focus is on play, fun and exploration. I want to promote that learning by doing is so much more powerful than learning by being told. I want to shout from the roof tops that we don’t have more we need to know, we actually need to un-learn some of the things we’ve picked up through life.

So let’s stop being fixated and depressed about the concept of growing up.

Let’s focus on enjoying our lives, no matter what age we are.

Follow your interests
Delight at the world around you
Stay curious
Do something that intrigues you without caring what the outcome will be
Find fun in your day-to-day world
Enjoy life

Find that puddle to jump in, that finger paint to mess about with or that hill to roll down and celebrate your life.

Who’s with me on growing “down” as we get older?

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