Now that I’ve decided to never grow up, the next challenge is to deal with what I call “youth envy“.
I’m nearly 49 years old, so while I can do many youthful and child-like things, the fact remains that this ol’ body of mine can no longer do some of the things it used to do. Plus, having to make a living does in fact put a crimp in my ice cream eating, candy store visiting, and playing in the water fountain activities, not to mention the ability to not really worry about money.
REAL childhood, teenage and college years, and young adulthood certainly held some advantages over my daily life today, no question. So a little bit of envy creeps in on occasion, especially when I see younger folks demonstrating athletic prowess and greater stamina, having a full head of hair, or pulling off an “all-nighter” with their friends and still having energy to go to work the next morning (just to name a few).
Fortunately, I’ve found a way to deal with this envy, and I have to say it works pretty well – there’s even a nice little “zen” component that ties in with it.
A couple of years ago it dawned on me that if we’re lucky, we all get to be 10 in our lives, or 15, or 22, or 25. But just once. We all get our turn, as it were. So as I sit here now at 48, to get past my envy I look at a 22 year-old doing something I can no longer do and think, “hey I had my turn to be 22 – now it’s his turn. I hope he makes the most of it”.
We’re all represented by time lines, starting at one point and ending at another. The funny thing is, none of us overlap exactly. But until we can figure out a way to go back in time, there are no “do overs” in this life. No “mulligans”.
So that 22 year-old is getting his shot at being 22. That lasts for exactly 365 days, as it has for every single person on this earth that was fortunate enough to live that long.
I’m now getting my turn at 48, and I’m about a little more than half-way through it. You can bet I’m trying my best to make the most of it, quit worrying about “youth envy” and just getting on with what’s in front of me.
And that’s the zen part – making sure I don’t lose my turn. Don’t lose yours either.