Aging is, apparently, a big deal. Not that it isn’t. It was my birthday this week, which got me thinking about aging, and the stereotype that it stinks.
Perhaps I’m still too young to appreciate aging. I’m working through a Couch to 5K, my only child is two, I haven’t hit thirty yet, and I still get excited for my birthday because it means I get gifts. Maybe I shouldn’t be so excited about gifts, but why not?
Is there something extremely magical about your birthday? I mean, it’s a great day to celebrate being alive, but without the gifts and the cake and the smiles and the fun, what’s the point? That’s just another day. News Flash: I am older today than I was yesterday, and so are you. The world has not ended in that time. Though it might tomorrow; you never know.
People who hate birthdays often complain about getting older, and how much of a drag that is. There’s odd pains, and gray hairs, and you can’t move as fast as you used to. That’s forgetting the fact that age has allowed numerous experiences, some of which I’m sure that person quite enjoyed. Or the fact that, at the end of the day, they’re still alive.
So don’t be that guy. Seriously, it’s not that big of a deal. We’d all rather celebrate your life with you, give you a slap on the back, maybe a quick jab in the ribs about how old you are, and have a good time.
Now, where’s the cake?
Some days, I wish I had my younger brain. I remember having a vivid imagination and loving to just sit and read, draw, play, or create. Now there are days where I sit and stare and wonder why I can’t be creative. Then, you start to wonder if you were really that creative as a kid after all.
Luckily, my daughter often comes to the rescue in this situation. She’s just over two years old now, and is running, talking, and playing. Plus, her imagination has already kicked in full force.
For example, just the other night she spread out a blanket on the floor and invited me to a picnic. She brought clothes hangers to the “picmic” for food. That is until I pretended my hangar was a hook and said I was a pirate. Then, her hat become a pirate hat, because, naturally, pirate hats have three points on them just like hangers.
Other times she’ll wonder around the house with one of our old dead cell phones and call various people like “Grammy” or “Mommy”. And if we start doing something else she’ll say, “Ok, we’re going to play now. Bye!” and hang up.
Her love of life and imagination are infectious. I seriously wish there was a way to bottle it up, and bring it with me to work. Then I’d have something to get me through my low points.
Can I take a moment to throw some blame around and place it on our education system? See, I love to learn, and I think that might be strange. I mean, who really grew up loving to go to school and thought “Learning is awesome!”? Because once you learn something, you have to do an assignment or take a test on it.
I think learning becomes more awesome once you’re not constrained by tests and papers for one simple reason: because you want to! When you want to learn something, you pursue it, and the more you want to learn it, the more passionate and dedicated about it you’ll be. And without all those tests, etc., you’re free to learn as much as you want without the stress.
So get out and learn something! Here are your first three steps:
- Pick something to learn. Decide on a topic. It could be something you’re really excited about or something you’re just curious about. It doesn’t matter what it is, because if you find it boring, you can just learn something else.
- Find resources on your topic. Check out the library. It’s not as scary as you think. Of course, the internet is a great place to go. You never know what kind of free resources there are out there. Which leads me to…
- Connect with others who have a passion for that topic. One of the best ways to learn is from or with someone else. Getting together with a group not only improves your ability to learn, but it adds motivation as well.
What do you have a passion for? Cooking? Running? Civil War Era history? Learn about it. I’ve just handed you your course schedule for life; now fill it out. And there won’t be a test.
It’s unfortunate that schedules and circumstances don’t fall right in line with life transformation.
I’ve been working on a few projects this year in an attempt to become a better me, reorganizing my priorities and using my time more wisely. I’m trying to work out and blog more, among other things.
I’ve tried to set up a regular schedule: run on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Then on Tuesdays and Thursdays, spend time drafting blog posts. I haven’t followed that schedule since, well, ever. This week was particularly bad.
We were hit by what I called “Snowmageddon 2011” earlier this week in the Midwest. Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning and evening all involved the driveway and sidewalk needing to be cleared. Combine that with the fact that my snowblower is still in need of repairs and my mornings were shot for most of the week. So was my back.
I’m hoping that next week, I might have a chance at a normal week. But then again what’s that? I think the lesson to be learned here is that the path to self-improvement and discipline means sticking to the plan even when the schedule gets a little off. Either that or snow stinks. Take your pick.