Maturity and time seem to make us nostalgic. While we are purportedly mellow and somewhat wiser, a longing for days gone by consumes our thoughts. Mostly what I remember are things I yearn for in my life as a mature adult. Stuff which mirrored my happiness as a child growing up. Remember summertime Carnivals and Fairs? Those rides you eagerly awaited in line for to ride over and over again were happiness in motion. The Tilt-A-Whirl was one of my very favorites. Several kids held the single handle to the ride which was built like a half shell for your back. The ride itself swirling about on a spherical track, while approximately 8 – 10 other half shells did the same thing on a larger sphere-shaped track.
Oh and there’s Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia where the Summer Olympics were held in 1996 and I was there! I never dreamed I would ever have the chance to view the Olympics live and up close. It is definitely on my WOW list. Even though there had been a plan devised to cancel the Games by creating a pipe bomb in a US Military Field Pack which did kill one and injured 111 others, officials and athletes agreed the Games should continue as planned. And we all agreed as well. We had awaited the very best of the best athletes who pursued their entry at the Games with vigor and spirit, and attendees were not going to let them down. We also continued with spirit at each event we were so blessed to attend.
Remember mom and dad reminding us, before we left the house to go play with friends in the neighborhood, to come home before the street lights came on? Those were the days when parents didn’t worry if you played with your friends in the neighborhood. There weren’t any kidnappings back then, it seemed. Life was simpler, easy-going and more fun. We rode our bikes, skateboarded (of course not anything like the skateboard of today) on what were usually homemade slats of wood with roller skate wheels attached to them. We didn’t have the Wii or PlayStation or any other computer type games. What we had was our own ingenuity and our friends. We made do because we seemed to know what happiness meant to us back then.
But in our 12+ hour workdays, two working parents’ households, the stress levels are sky high. Happiness is often an ill-fated dream. Whatever happened and when? The transition seemed to grab hold before anyone ever realized. I remember dad telling me, “One day you will look back and see our life today as better than anything you could invent in order to have fun.” I never realized what he meant. I just laughed it off and went outdoors to play. Today, however, I covet those good ol’ days and the great fun we all had together.
These are but some of my favorite things. I could offer more, and I’m certain you all could share countless others and please feel free to share them here with us. My wish for us all? To never forget that adulthood and maturity do not stand for sedation and lack of adventure. We still have that same spirit of the child within. Let’s reach deep and rely upon it now and then. How else can we release the stress of our days and show our children what it’s really like to act like kids again.