Yesterday’s post featured a list compiled by Marius Auer, called “10 Awesome Things About Being a Kid“. I liked his list, and largely agreed with his assessment of the benefits of being a youngster.
However, in the interest of providing a platform for an opposing view, I will now present, having peered through the opposite end of the spectrograph, an alternate perspective. That’s just the kind of fair minded and egalitarian blog this is.
10 Awesome Things About Not Being a Kid Anymore
1. While it is true that, as an adult, I am saddled with an onerous duty to pay taxes, it is ultimately because I get a paycheck. In fact, this paycheck means real cash dollars in my grubby little fist that I am free to — after taxes — spend any way I please. I don’t even need to run it past Mom or anything.
2. It is also true that as an adult, I bear the responsibility to plan, procure, and prepare meals. But, because I am in possession of real cash dollars (see point No. 1), I am completely free to plan these meals around whatever appetites or hankerings I may have. And, if I so choose, I can even skip the planning-procuring-preparing parts and head to one of a plethora of dining establishments, since — once again — I have real cash dollars at my disposal and wouldn’t need to run this decision past Mom either.
3. I may not know the significant differences between an X-box and a Play Station, but I can tell you the difference between 14 and 24 carat, Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine, and Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Booyah!
4. I’m not going to propose something ignorant like, “Let’s celebrate our wrinkles!”, but neither should their appearing be devastating. A conference speaker once made the comment that she couldn’t imagine anything much worse than growing old and being afraid of losing one’s beauty. Those to whom wrinkles signify they’ve lost something unthinkable… youth, which must be preserved at all cost — will probably divert some of their real cash dollars toward nips and tucks. But such measures will never prevent aging. Embracing the notion that wrinkles are an inevitable part of the cycle of life and greeting their onset with a measure of acceptance, will bring a wonderful freedom. A freedom to anchor one’s self-worth in something much deeper and nearer our core than mere appearance. No longer able to derive personal significance from taut, ripped or otherwise gorgeous exteriors, we gain the liberty to say no to such things as impractical, bunion-causing stilletos. It’s great to be an adult.
5. Getting old isn’t as negative as our youth-worshiping culture would have us believe. With each stage of life we pass through, we have opportunity to enter new and fascinating territory. As one who has been through the college and early marriage phase with its acquisition of knowledge, slightly scary, bold firsts, and wonder; the little kids phase with its sleepless nights, runny noses, giggles, story books, and wonder; the adolescent phase with its high energy, boundless possibility, attitude and wonder; and the empty nest with its adult-to-adult conversations, budding careers, new little families, and wonder — I can attest to the reality of every phase being richer than the preceding one. Aging = adventuring.
6. I am no longer constrained to attend school: I am free to choose it. As a perpetual learner, I can now select subjects that pique my interest, study them at my pace, whenever I choose. I like that.
7. If I’m so inclined, I can learn to speak Technology As a Second Language. Or, if not, I can just invite one of the kids over to the house and ask him to reformat, install, download, upload, sync, or otherwise get our gadgets and toys set up for us. I have options. And either way works.
8. “Manual labor” *gulp* is no longer a bad word. (I know, that was two words…) Adults understand that work yields highly rewarding dividends, such as personal satisfaction and pride in accomplishment. We throw ourselves into things like planting gardens, interior remodeling projects, or restoring vintage autos. And for those manual tasks we’d rather avoid, we’re often able to hire someone to do them for us, because — once again — we command those real cash dollars.
[Now I think I’ll go find a puddle and jump in it. Right after I stop by an ATM…]