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Why I Wanna Be a Kid Again!

Gee I loved being a kid. Living for the moment, laughing for the sheer joy of doing so, letting my imagination run wild, not trying to be someone I wasn’t, saying “yes I can do that” to everything I wanted to try, even if I wasn’t any good at it.  I didn’t have to worry about getting a job, a relationship, or paying off a mortgage. Nor did I realize that, while I was playing, I was also learning all the basics of life – how to talk, read, write, make my arms, legs, and eyes work together, play by the rules my friends and I made up on the spot and – best of all –  negotiation skills, convincing my parents to buy sweets and toys.  Problems were resolved by a motherly hug or going without dessert. Those were the days my friend, I thought they’d never end.

But they did.

Life became serious. Parents, friends and teachers carefully taught me what I had to do to succeed in the harsh world of reality. Having fun became a waste of time that could be much more usefully put to earning serious money. I was told to forget silly kid stuff, like jumping, drawing, singing, acting and doing roly-polies down a grassy hill. Instead, look around at what the adults are doing… copy them…don’t be different or people will think you’re dumb. Get a real job. Become a doctor, lawyer, teacher, engineer – anything that makes people look at you in awe.

So I did.

I started taking courses I didn’t want to do. I did degrees that were going to take me somewhere, but got me nowhere. I started getting assessed – for the right school, right friends, right sport, right university, right job, right partner…the right path to whatever other people told me would take me down that glorious road to success, fulfillment and happiness.  And no, I didn’t always get chosen. I often wasn’t good enough, qualified enough, wealthy enough, talented enough, dressed well enough, intelligent enough, or trained enough.

Then I started to see the light.

What I was getting enough of was stressed, pressured, changed, controlled, confused, uncertain, and misguided. The one life I had was slipping by fast. I was reaching each of “the big 0’s” faster and faster.  Finally, I hit the big 6-0 – when bosses tell you: “you’re too old to work anymore. Go find a nice pasture. Book into God’s waiting room where you can pass the time until you die”.

That’s when I exploded.

“Enough is enough is enough!!!” It’s time for me to be me – the me I always wanted to be when I was a child. It hit me that life in my 60s had much in common with life in my childhood. I didn’t have to worry about a job (though I could work if I wanted to), or a mortgage (it was under control) or even a relationship (I was happily married). I could do anything I felt like doing – even if I wasn’t any good at it. I could become a kid again.  And this time it could be even better. I now had the benefit of a lifetime of experiences – good and bad – and even a little money on which to build my childhood dreams, skills, fun, interests, and plans.

So I have become a kid again.

I am free to do as I please, when I want, with whom I want, for as long as I wish and at the pace I like. I don’t have to be good at what I do. I just lose myself in the joy of the moment, laughing for the sheer pleasure of doing so, letting my imagination run wild, being the me I always wanted to be.

I love it. I am learning, growing, and blossoming into a truly successful person. I now know happiness is the journey, not the end and that life is what you make of it, right this minute.

Peter Nicholls
Peter Nichollshttp://australiaspeoplegardener.com.au/
When you lose yourself in an interest you enjoy, you find yourself. For 50 years, Peter has been driven by a passion to understand not so much what people enjoy but why they enjoy it. What role does the enjoyment factor play in our lives, our personal growth, and development? After gaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Graduate Diploma in Recreation Planning, Peter spent 30 years working professionally in recreation development, helping people of all ages improve the quality and range of their favourite recreational experiences. He was, in effect, helping people “re-create” their true self through interests they enjoy for the sheer intrinsic pleasure of the experience. His first book “Enjoy Being You” (2001) reflected his work in those years. What might this do, thought Peter, for our lives at work and personal life beyond simply leisure and recreation? After leaving work, Peter re-invented himself as a Life Enjoyment Mentor, helping people enjoy being their true selves. He created a structured approach to help people unpack everything they enjoy in life and repacking those experiences that will become the basis for their future. (Producing many ‘aha’ moments) Having a professional background in what people do when they are not at work, Peter’s writings bring a different, refreshing and revitalizing perspective to what drives our lives, including our work. As well as “Enjoy Being You”, Peter is also the author of “The Hunger to Grow – an Alternative to Retirement” (2016) and “Enjoy Being Proud of Who You Are – 52 Lifeskills Messages for Teenagers” (2013). You can find out more about Peter Nicholls at Peter Nicholls | LinkedIn, at www.australiaspeoplegardener.com.au, and on Facebook at Peter Nicholls | Facebook.

9 COMMENTS

    • Beautifully put Aldo. Thank you. Leads me to feel that our real selves probably most perfectly existed in our childhood (even if life as a child was not happy). Life teaches us much but also it has a habit of suppressing much of that true self. Life after work provides a wonderful chance to freely express and enjoy the ‘untarnished’ child we once were.

  1. Thank you Leah. Life tends to get in our way and we are ‘told’ to suppress our passions. And let me add, what we used to call a midlife crisis at 50 is, I believe, a New Life Awakening. It’s when we realize we are starting to add depth of understanding people, shifting our perspective, depth of insight and wisdom. Look forward to enjoying the second half of your life Leah. :)

  2. Oh so true. The joy though of unlearning, saying no to the establishment and testing what brings us unbridled joy again. I am only starting this process myself, at the very close of 50yr mark, this time though I will play not be overly responsible like I was as a child.

    • Thank you Leah. Life tends to get in our way and we are ‘told’ to suppress our passions. And let me add, what we used to call a midlife crisis at 50 is, I believe, a New Life Awakening. It’s when we realize we are starting to add depth of understanding people, shifting our perspective, depth of insight and wisdom. Look forward to enjoying the second half of your life Leah. :)

  3. Peter – Such a wonderful piece. Truly, it is filled with the wisdom that comes from looking in the mirror and being honest about your life’s journey. I’m with you – I want to be a kid again! Thanks for sharing.

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