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Don't Act Your Age (and Don't Move Like Your Age Either)

"You need to start acting your age..."

Ever hear that one when you were little?

I sure did. Mostly, from my parents (see Note 1 below). Occasionally, I'd hear (from one of my peers) the more junior high version of the above emphatic: "Oh, grow up!"

Even though (chronologically) I'm in my fifties, I'm still an 11-year-old at heart. I don't know about you, but I plan to never grow up. Why? Because people who grow up get old, and I'd rather not join that particular circus act. There are just way too many difficult to understand rules, and, quite frankly, I'm not at all interested in any of them. Following my late wife's death (about fifteen years ago), I penned the following aspiration as a part of my personal desiderata (see Note 2): "I will play at life. At 104, I will be the oldest 11-year-old walking the face of the planet."

So, here's where I'm at right now: at almost 53, I'm the oldest 11-year-old I know. So, yeah, that's where I'm at (and where I plan to stay until Jesus takes me home).

Here's my injunction to you: don't grow up, don't act your age, and, especially, don't move like your age. I've found that, to do the above, all you need is to follow seven basic rules:

  1. Play (run, ride bikes, climb trees, splash around in the mud, etc.). And do so all the time (or, at least, as often as you can).

  2. Dream, and never lose your sense of wonder (see Note 3). (Yep, I borrowed that one from Robert Fulghum.)

  3. Be present.

  4. Take naps.

  5. Make (and keep) lots of friends (because you can never have too many of those).

  6. Eat your vegetables—especially, the leafy green ones.

  7. Look both ways before crossing the street (or doing anything risky), but make sure you still cross the street (read, "do risky things"), and do so often. As a few of us have discovered, doing scary things (calculated, of course!) can be good for you (see Note 4)!

So there you go!

Play, take good care of yourself, and I'll see YOU in the funny papers...



  1. By this, I mean no disrespect to my parents. They were and are awesome! I can only imagine how hard it was to raise a little boy who who had a difficult time discerning the difference between just having a little fun and doing really, really dangerous things.

  2. Desiderata (my definition): a list of personal desires you've decided to pursue resolutely. I shared "My Desiderata" in a post earlier this year. To view it, just click on the following link:

  3. Wonder (from Webster's): a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.

  4. Yeah, so I guess I still still feel the way I did when I was a child (see Note 1 above). Fortunately for my parents, they don't have to witness directly my daily comings and goings any more. BTW, if you seem them, please don't tell them I said that; they'll worry. Thanks!


IKIGAI Weekly Blog Schedule (per The Training Trinity):

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Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline

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The Life You Were Born to Live

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