Why Kids Are Happier Than You

They're smiling because they know how to do something you don't.

They’re smiling because they know how to do something you don’t.

Kids are smarter than you.

When kids aren’t crapping their pants, exposing themselves in public or throwing temper tantrums because they’re not allowed to have candy five minutes before dinner, they’re smarter than you.

Not about everything.

I can run circles around my five-year-old son in academic contests.

“Hey dad! Do you know what 71+14 is!?!?”

“Yes.”

He’s always so impressed when I give him the answer even though I could have answered “93,” and he wouldn’t know the difference.

“Hey dad! Do you know how to spell ‘antelope’?”

“Totally.”

And even if I spelled “rhinoceros,” I’d probably get away with it.

He’s a sharp little dude. But he’s got a ways to go.

But I watch him.

He plays.

Smarter than me.

What’s great about this is even if you’re not a parent, you can remember doing this, too. Or you see it in restaurants and parks and shopping malls.

The kids play.

Smarter than us.

They run. They scream. They squeal. They dance. They laugh.

That’s what delight looks like.

That’s what fun looks like.

That’s what happy looks like.

And that’s precisely what all of us want.

Happy.

I Didn’t Want to Grow Up

At least, not once I got to college.

I still played.

It didn’t look quite like it did when I played with Star Wars, He-Man, and G.I. Joe action figures, turning my house into a different universe.

It didn’t look quite like it did when I spent hours mesmerized by The Legend of Zelda or Tecmo Bowl or Super Mario Bros. 3.

But I was playing. Always playing.

After dragging my feet in college, taking five years to graduate due to some career indecision and a whole bunch of partying, I was hired as a newspaper reporter at age 23 in a beach community near Tampa, Fla.

I’d been on a few trips to other places in my life, including Florida, but I was so saturated by the Midwest culture in which I grew up that I truly didn’t know it was different in other places.

When I moved to Florida, I thought it would be EXACTLY like what I had always experienced in Ohio, only it would be 85 degrees and sunny every day, while I drank beer and umbrella drinks on the beach jamming to live reggae music.

It wasn’t like that at all.

It was scary how different everything was. How far away I was from everything I knew and loved. It was time for me to grow up.

But I don’t want to grow up!

I wanted to play.

My girlfriend didn’t like that about me. It hurt her feelings, she said. And it made her question my maturity.

“We all have to grow up sometime,” she’d say.

You can’t get married and grow in maturity and have a happy and successful life if you’re partying with friends all the time!, the thinking seemed to be.

There’s no time for childishness. Not in the real world.

We need to be serious!

And responsible!

And go to work every day!

And pay our bills!

And do chores!

And take care of the lawn!

And keep the house clean!

Ehh. Maybe she’s right, I thought.

So, I stopped doing all those fun things.

I stopped playing.

And we got married.

I replaced the old games with new ones.

With poker. With movies. With music.

But the best times were still those long nights laughing with friends and having buzzed late-night sex.

I wonder if she thinks so, too.

Kids Know How to Play

But maybe you forgot.

I did.

Because I was in such a hurry to grow up. Because I was hell-bent on trying to make the woman I loved happy without ever stopping to wonder whether maybe she had it wrong.

Because how is all this growing up and being responsible working out for you?

Listen, I want you to pay your bills. I want you to go to work. And take care of yourself. And keep your house looking nice.

I’m not talking about neglecting responsibilities.

But, dammit, I AM talking about PLAYING.

Because this is bullshit. This rat-race game we’re all trying to play.

When did we all get brainwashed into believing this shit?

Who made the rule that in order to be an “adult,” you have to go work 40 hours a week in an office and tuck in your shirt and read biographies and not laugh at dick-and-fart jokes?

Because that rule is BULLSHIT.

I don’t want anything in this life but HAPPINESS for myself, my son, everyone we love, and all of the other people out there who crave happiness as well.

And I don’t think I always have to play by all these rules in order to achieve that. I’ve been playing by these rules for the better part of the past 15 years.

And what do I have to show for it?

A stack of bills, a stamped dissolution of marriage document, a part-time son and doing a bunch of things alone that I used to do with my wife.

It’s Time to Start Playing Again

We’ve gotta play.

We must.

I think this is one of the ways we’re gonna save ourselves.

Don’t you remember all the fun you used to have? And now you’re not having fun anymore. Sitting around doing “adult” things all time.

You know what? Fuck. That.

These rules are bullshit, and a bunch of us got brainwashed somewhere along the way. As if this was the only way to capture the “American Dream” or the spouse and 1.8 kids and the house in the suburbs.

I let other people make me feel guilty about the things that made me feel happy.

And now I feel shitty all the time UNLESS I’m doing all the things l love to do surrounded by people I love and who love me in return.

I’m so tired of feeling shitty.

And you must be, too. You must be. It’s so exhausting wearing that mask. Trying to play the role of mature adult and doing what you think everyone expects you to do rather than what you actually want to do.

I know what you want to do.

You want to feel happy.

Just like when we were kids. Running outside. Free. Innocent.

We squealed.

We danced.

We laughed.

We had fun.

We were happy.

Those kids are pretty smart. Yours. Mine. The ones we see lighting up the darkness.

I think I’m ready to start playing again.

Wanna play too?

A special thanks to T at “This Is Not My World” for inspiring this post.

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94 thoughts on “Why Kids Are Happier Than You

  1. DailyMusings says:

    I’m in. Truthfully I never stopped. I think that’s why the kids in my first grade class like me- I’m right in there with them- sometimes screaming out loud right along with them,getting into the finger painting, making silly faces-you get the idea. We should never lose our ability to just let loose- sure I have financial responsibilities, work responsibilities, dinner has to get made- but it’s important to be able to let go and play.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Yes.

      Thank you for understanding. Because I’m not advocating loserdom and being a bum.

      But I think I’m maybe advocating not compromising the things (which aren’t morally reprehensible) which make you feel good.

      And maybe that doesn’t line up exactly with what society tells us “being an adult” is supposed to look like.

      But I think I bought the lie that I had to be something I didn’t want to be in order to join the Adult Club.

      And the Adult Club sucks. I don’t meet very many happy ones.

      I think there’s a lesson there.

      Like

      • DailyMusings says:

        A person needs to know when it’s ok to be the kid, and when it’s not- Being part of the adult club that says you can’t enjoy life, and have fun is not a club you need to be part of. Stop trying to conform to what you think society wants from you- you’ve got it figured out- be you Matt-be true to you!!

        Like

      • dazzles012 says:

        Completely agree with both of you!

        DailyMusings, I take it you’re a teacher? I am too, and I have to say that I can establish a good rapport with the kids in my classes very easily and very quickly because I know to pick my battles. As Matt puts it, I let me kids do things that make them happy if they aren’t morally reprehensible. If you feel more comfortable with your legs on your desk and your textbook in your lap, cool. If it doesn’t interrupt my lesson, I could care less if your feet are under the seat. If you chat with3 your classmates, as long as it’s not interrupting the lesson, go for it. When I go to my second job in a preschool (or even when at my middle school job), I make funny faces, I tell jokes, and I make sure the kids know that I am having fun too.

        I agree, the Adult Club sucks. I’m game for making it a bit better!

        Like

        • Matt says:

          Thank you for being down-to-Earth and accessible. I bet your students adore you. And you deserve it.

          Really appreciate your approach. My guess is your students WANT to learn from you and perform well on your quizzes and tests.

          Thank you for writing this. :)

          Like

  2. Verity says:

    once again you’ve hit the nail on the head!! all this shit about what it means to be ‘grown up’ and conforming to what society expects of us. Keep muddling through Matt, you ain’t alone in your thoughts!!

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Thank you very much.

      I think it’s a lie. And I think most people buy it.

      And then we just end up feeling sad and isolated talking about the good old days.

      I don’t think it has to be like that.

      Thank you so much for reading and writing this note.

      Like

      • Verity says:

        I’ve been reading you since you were ‘freshly pressed’… thank you for sharing your thoughts, I only wish Spanish men were quite so open!! For the record, (and with regards to the title of your blog), we don’t all go for tall, I used to until I discovered a few things about ergonomics ;). And with reference to your previous post, some of us also eat alone in restaurants (gotta love the ‘just one?’ comment), and believe me, it does get easier…

        Like

        • Matt says:

          I really appreciate that you’re following along. Thank you.

          I don’t think most people in any country are quite as open as I try to be here. They’re probably smart for being that way. I don’t run around advertising this stuff in real life. But I can’t see the value in writing about human things in dishonest, non-transparent ways.

          Thank you for your encouragement. I feel a little better every single day. And I fully expect that to continue. :)

          Like

  3. dorothyemyers says:

    Hell to the f—ng Yes!

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I really am trying to watch my language. I am.

      But I was angry when I wrote the F-word today.

      Angry with myself. For not being true to myself. And now I’m here. And it’s not where I want to be.

      And it’s not where I’m going to stay.

      Like

  4. dorothyemyers says:

    I’m looking for the way to delete my comment. Me and my nasty F bombs.

    It was the first thing that came out, violently and suddenly, because I’m angry at myself too. My fist went up the in air, slammed down on the table, rattled my coffee cup, and I wrote it.

    I know! In my brain what I need to do to live happy and fulfilled. But I’m feeling myself still sitting too still, wheels spinning, engine revving, wasting precious energy. Been writing about it, trying to get to it, putting down ideas, making lists, thoughts and plans, turning over stones, every stone I can…

    Then I read your post today, and whether you meant to or not, whether you do it for yourself or not, you shoved me out of the rut, the sticky mud, and I wanna cuss some more right now, but I won’t, but it’s happening in my head super loud, and I don’t want my kids to hear.

    But I’ve had enough of my rut crap, I feel so for sure done.

    In fact, I’ll finish this comment, and go have some fun…

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I’ll soften it up for you, Dorothy. But let’s not delete it.

      It was an honest moment. And I like those.

      Like

      • dorothyemyers says:

        Thanks for the soften and thanks for the kick.

        I went and sat in my cherry tree. I climbed trees as a kid, so I went into my yard, when the rain was light, and sat from that familiar vantage.

        A small quick adventure, a small fun, because I wasn’t gonna let the excuse that I don’t have time stop me…

        Hope your day, and everyone’s day had room for more fun.

        Like

        • Matt says:

          :)

          Good for you. I hope everyone had a little fun today, too.

          Like

          • Just wanted to let you know I did go have some fun. Then I wrote about it. This is NOT a shameless plug! I swear!

            It’s just to say, your writing is inspiring, for me at least. I was being a bit too morose with my posts and life in general because I could gild it up. I could write my sadness in such a way that it could become beautifully acceptable to me.

            But this post was like the birds in “The Tales of Peter Rabbit,” it implored me to get up, to save myself. Don’t worry, I’m not giving you crap tons of credit, just that thing of the right words at the right time.

            Here’s my adventure, only for you to read if it reminds you and inspires you to keep doing what’s healing you.

            http://touchingthemirage.com/?p=305

            Like

  5. April says:

    Another good post! This is something I was just talking to my therapist about last week. I’m a huge football fan. My team is the Seattle Seahawks. You can imagine how excited I was to watch them, for the second time in their franchise history, go to the Super Bowl again….and we won! But I was sick for two days. Not like the flu, it was because I felt I had to contain my excitement.

    You know what she told me? She said—“well, it’s not like you’d see a 50 or 60 year old person jumping up and down with excitement”. I looked at her dumbfounded and said, I do that. When I get excited, I do that, and I will do it until I can’t jump up and down any more. Somewhere along the way, I learned to repress that excitement or playfulness and I wanted to understand why. She has helped me in many ways, but that wasn’t one of them.

    However, I have a 24-year-old son who took 5 1/2 years to graduate from college, which he did in December. He has been living in our basement since. He’s a vampire. He only comes out at night. Uh–we don’t want to support him for the rest of his life. :)

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I was NOT advocating living in mom’s basement!!!

      I’m so glad you still jump up and down when you’re excited.

      And most importantly… congratulations! I will never, ever, EVER know what it’s like to see my favorite team in the Super Bowl, and God forbid, win the damn thing.

      (It’s because I like the Cleveland Browns and God hates us.)

      But I always love when fans in similar situations get their day in the sun.

      Enjoy it! You guys will have another REALLY good shot next year too. :)

      Like

  6. A funny post Matt. And you are right, we need to remember to play also. I find it most easy, when I play with kids or with my big puppy.
    Irene

    Like

  7. Aussa Lorens says:

    Love this. I feel like I’ve gone back and forth in this trap for several years… Kind of swinging on the spectrum of being like “I’m buying my first house at 21, I’m such a success!” to googling tips on van dwelling. I feel like I’ve sort of settled in that happy medium but that world of adulthood still pours honey in my ears sometimes and talks me into stressing about things like retirement. Madness.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      It’s a fine line to walk. Especially now that I’m a dad. That’s my top priority. NOT fun. But… I don’t think I can be a particularly good father if I’m often miserable.

      I think I need to play more. Just play. Even if it’s something simple, like joining more card games, or whatever.

      The real hard part is what to do about all these “adult” possessions. I don’t mean that in a dirty way. Like, my house and all of the expenses and responsibilities that go along with it. I just might enjoy life a lot more in a simple place that grants me the freedom to travel and play all the time.

      Thank you, Aussa. :)

      Like

      • Aussa Lorens says:

        Yeah, I can see that you would have heaps more difficulty in figuring out how to navigate that line as a father. And to quote Tyler Durden “The things you own end up owning you.” That’s a trap I’ve also fallen for a gillion times. Three years ago when I went to China I sold pretty much everything except my books, art, and any furniture I’d inherited. My whole world fit into one teensy little storage unit. I’ve somehow managed to accrue so much “stuff” in a relatively short amount of time. *sigh*

        Lastly, yes– play more. Sometimes you just need to drink a bottle of wine and laugh at stupid videos on youtube.

        Like

  8. You are right. It is bullshit.

    The “norm” today was hugely not the norm for most of recorded history. It won’t be the norm (hopefully) in 200 years either. It’s all about figuring out how you want to live; it is possible to be both unconventional and responsible.

    Like

  9. Well said Matt!

    I did never fit into the picture of a “funktioning adult”.
    It always felt strange to me that people would SAY it is time for me to be responsible and at the same time EXPECT me to give all my responsibility away, like sacrificing who I am to “fit in”.
    (I tried to “fit in”. I failed miserably. I was labeled all sorts of things for that. So I stopped, and started to be me, again.)

    Actually, kids who are still playful are so much more sovereign. And since when does self-responsibility (from which any kind of true responsibility derives) exclude playfulness?
    – It doesn’t!

    Thank you so much for speaking up! It is always good to know that there are more likeminded people “out there”.

    Much love,
    Steffi

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I agree.

      Because I think most people are disappointed and dissatisfied with what they discover adulthood to be.

      And it’s a tricky balance to love your children and be there for them AND do some of the things I’d like to do.

      But life is one big troubleshoot.

      And I just don’t see the point in choosing unhappiness.

      Thanks for the note, Steffi. Really appreciate it.

      Like

      • I am not a parent, so I can only observe things, there. I am a daughter, though. ;)

        From what I can see it seems much easier to allow happiness to others when we first of all allow it for ourselves. The same applies for anything and everything in life. Therefore, I do believe that parents who allow happiness for themselves are giving a great gift to their children, too.

        And yes, I agree: It’s all a matter of balance. :)

        Like

  10. Dawn says:

    I do I do…I like to play. I don’t like to run…so hopefully we can skip any running. :)

    Like

  11. Putting up a front and marching to the beat of a drum created by who knows. When I decided enough was enough I made a change. I started to spend time outdoors, fishing, nature trails, making beer, flipping people off… doing stuff I loved to do for years but stopped doing because I thought that’s what you do when you grow up. The best part of that is when I made that choice I had kids so I brought them along. They did all that shit too just not the flipping people off part.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Laughed out loud. Twice.

      Thank you. Very much. For choosing to “live.”

      We must.

      And it will get you through all this in one piece. Maybe even a better, stronger piece. I believe that strongly.

      Like

  12. jadedwildcat says:

    So interesting you wrote about this today. My sister and I have been having late night, semi-drunken discussions lately about how *badly* we just want to turn back time and go back to when things were so simple… happy… pure.
    Easy.
    Sigh.

    I do want to play :(

    Like

  13. nights7 says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly on this one.
    If more people knew how to play and maintain child-like wonder and zest for life the world would be a happier place. Plus then maybe I’d get fewer odd looks when I’m running around and climbing with my kids at the playground or being otherwise totally ridiculous in public places (probably while wearing a Batman or Star Wars t-shirt).
    I try not to fully crossover to the dark side of adulthood.
    Sure I have to dabble on a semi-regular basis and I don’t advocate total irresponsibility either, but I do try to seize the opportunity to play whenever I can.
    Great post and I hope you can find many opportunities to play regularly.

    P.S.- Enjoy being able to impress your kid with your intelligence while you can. Before you know it he’ll either know more than you or think he does.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Thank you!

      I appreciate that you get it.

      And yeah, we’re pretty much already there on certain subjects. The part where I’m a moron and he’s got it nailed.

      It often has to do with eating garbage right before dinner. Or some other childhood inconvenience he’s forced to endure. :)

      Like

  14. carsonblue says:

    Down, set, hut hut hut hut………

    Like

  15. Twindaddy says:

    Being a grown-up is completely overrated.

    Like

  16. So true. No matter how much my job (which I really like) can wipe me out, I need to have other interests. I take classes in photography, which I’m very enthusiastic about so it’s not as if the homework is like breaking rocks. I have friends who just don’t get it, though. Don’t I get tired? Isn’t the drive to/from campus really long in rush hour? They, on the other hand, go home after work and watch TV until bedtime… then get up the next day to do it all again. Every weekend, they are responsible: run errands, go to the gym, do laundry and maybe go out to dinner once or twice. I am tempted to ask the last time they did something unusual, or impulsive. Having fun, no matter what your definition is, is energizing. Without it life can be pretty exhausting.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Yes. Yes, yes and yes.

      I don’t begrudge those people stuck in routine, if they feel peace and life satisfaction.

      I just think most us don’t.

      And I think the answers live in our passionate pursuit of happiness. It’s physical. Spiritual. Emotional.

      But generically, it’s just doing as much “fun” stuff as possible. Everyone likes different things.

      Really appreciate you reading and taking a moment to write.

      Thank you. :)

      Like

  17. mjmsprt40 says:

    It’s been said before and will be said again, I’m by no means the first to say it nor will I be the last:
    We don’t stop playing because we grow old.
    We grow old because we stop playing.

    Like

  18. I’m in! Actually, I’ve been playing for years! It’s as I tell my son, as soon as your responsibilities are taken care of, then it’s time to play. Let’s get our stuff done so we can party!

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Some of the problem is the “stuff.”

      I’d maybe like to eliminate some of that, too.

      Like

      • My daily challenge the other day was in the everyday well being track and it was all about draw a pie. Inside that pie put show where you spend your time. I was able to happily state that several years ago I made changes so that my life would be more in balance, and every year I take time to make sure I’m still in balance. I want time to play, to have fun, to discover who I am now that I’m grown, I want my son to see that life is fun. I want to be a good example for my son, I want him to learn that life is worth living!

        So… long way of saying, I hope that you can find that balance and eliminate “stuff”.

        Like

  19. I so needed to read this! We get so caught up in trying to please others, we forget what it’s like to make ourselves happy… What a great post of wisdom! It’s time to PLAY!

    Like

  20. Jack Chaser says:

    Drag over a chair brother. My kids and I are playing new electronic Monopoly and its even easier to cheat.

    Like

  21. TINMW says:

    Remember the first time you were “sir’d”? That was it for me. I couldn’t have been more than 23 when some teenage cashier said “will that be all, sir?”.

    We don’t make a decision to grow up. We’re told to. And we listen for some reason.

    Your post reminded me of this article from the WSJ from last year: http://ow.ly/trApy

    The feature film is forthcoming. I asked the producers if I could write it. Which was as childishly optimistic as asking for candy five minutes before dinner.

    Like

  22. shellbelle says:

    I totally hear you. While growing up, I always wished I was older. But why?! I don’t even know what I used to think being an adult was all about. Oh, I get to eat junk food whenever I want? Awesome. Also, no.
    So now I have started playing again. For the last two months especially I have become mad about Lego. I used to play a lot growing up; and I still get such a kick out of making things and following the instructions, haha! But it’s fun, keeps my mind busy and makes me feel like a kid again as my 30th birthday draws ever closer!! I think play is super important for adults – it’s a break from “real life” and can be as simple or hard core as you want.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Your last sentence was perfect.

      We must play. (And I’d even argue play can be our “real life” if we get creative) And it can be be a big thing. Or a simple thing.

      Thank you very much for reading and taking a moment to write this. :)

      Like

  23. I play with my farts and laugh at my dick all the time, like an adult child should.

    Like

  24. JujyCakes says:

    I should have you talk to my son in law who is so busy thinking he’s a grown up that he’s not an active or present parent to his daughter. He thinks just bc he brings home a paycheck that he’s a good parent. He would rather sit in front of the BIG flat screen TV watching a video that he does not censor for a 3 yr old thinking that it’s quality time. He never gets on the floor to play with her. He never runs around to play hide and seek. He doesn’t build blanket forts on a rainy day in the house or have picnics on the living room floor. BUT he thinks he’s the BEST parent ever and he doesn’t play with his toddler.

    Being a grown up is very overrated.
    Being a playmate with your child is priceless.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Some people only know how to learn the hard way. I’m sort of that way. Most likely how your son-in-law will learn too. I pray he doesn’t find himself a single father in the process.

      Like

  25. My mantra as a business owner, on those days I decided it was more important to close shop and go have fun with my kids was, I may regret the sales I lose today but I’ll never regret the time with my kids.

    The business died but I’ve had some fun times. The bills still get paid because work is the easy part of life when it doesn’t define you.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I love that you used to close up shop to be with your family. That’s a good story.

      I’d much rather be defined by the playing I do than the work I do. And I don’t care what that makes me in the eyes of people who would call that irresponsible.

      Thanks for taking time to write. Really appreciate it.

      Like

  26. gluestickmum says:

    The sad thing is that not even kids are allowed to play any more. The other week I had a parent-teacher meeting at my daughter’s school. The teacher was concerned that she might not concentrate enough in her tests in May to get into the top grade class next year even though she’s capable. She’s 6.
    We pointed that our to the teacher. We’re happy to read with her (not always her school reading book, but books she loves) we’re happy to drop maths questions at her as a game, but we’re not going to sit her down and make her study rigorously at home. Home is where she relaxes and PLAYS, it’s not an extension of school. Not yet.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I know what you mean. I learned recently that my five-year-old son and his friends sometimes get in trouble for talking during lunch.

      I’m actually a little upset by it. Outside of actual learning time, the kids need a chance to be kids without getting in trouble for things which aren’t bad.

      Like

  27. You’re right. We all need to Play… again. I think there are two stumbling blocks. We have been brainwashed. Go to college, get a job, get married, get the white-picket, have kids… Everyone has this “guidebook” memorized by the time they are 10. This is the norm. This is what we are “supposed” to be. Says who? The second stumbling block… there is no -“guidebook” to being divorced, having part-time kids, ex-in-laws, step-moms and dads to your kids. There is no instructions inherently built into us. This we have to learn on the fly. And it is hard. Wonderfully, I believe, that all the troubles that were created by the brainwashed guide to life can be easily put straight when we begin to play. When we begin to remember what happiness is and where it comes from and what it DOES TO us.

    Be free from brainwashed societal standards of life and think only about what you and your loved ones lives should be. Break the mold.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I think you nailed it, exactly. Thank you for getting it.

      It seems many of us bought the lie and now we just get stuck in this bill-paying, frustrated cycle of horribleness every day until we die.

      And for what?

      Seems so foolish and wasteful. Thank you for weighing in. Appreciate it very much.

      Like

      • I think most importantly… we need to create our own Guidebook to life and include in it whatever we want. Not get stuck into thinking the way of the norm only to get stuck in suck. Do what you want, how you want. Stop the madness.

        Like

  28. There are so many ways I could reply to this, but I can best sum it up by recommending two of the biggest influences on my philosophy on life: “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau, and “Dead Poet’s Society”. They have made all the difference. :)

    Like

  29. i finally caught up with your weekend posts. I love this one, I am very much so a non-adult adult and I believe the world would be a better place if we all acted like kids at least once a day. Thanks (:

    Like

  30. Aamiene says:

    Absolutely! This is the reason I don’t like Christmas anymore! I wrote about it here: http://blackcatsramblings.info/my-secret-inner-grinch
    I’m not always such a grinch, but our lives seem to be spent living up to other peoples expectations and it’s so much pressure!
    We need to let our inner child out much more often. Count me in!

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  31. I agree. I have two little girls, they are 5 and 2 and they play all the time (obviously). The one part I try to keep fun in my life-other than the time with my girls- is the romantic relationships I have. I HAVE to be with someone that wants to have tickle fights and laugh until our bellies hurt and then have the most amazing kiss when we are done laughing and then do it all again.
    Thanks for listening and posting this one!

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  32. […] I really want to play. And I intend to. Perhaps more this year than I have in a very long time. […]

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  33. […] I think. How ill-prepared so many of us are for the rigors of adulthood. All those years just blissfully running around playing with toys and video games and going to […]

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  34. selda says:

    here in the early mornings of another boring day, i came across to your blog when i was looking for a picture for my presentation. As much as i agree with some of your thoughts, i cant leave this page without mentioning a couple of things that happened to me in the past 15 years. As much as i tried to keep my childhood spirit and did anything i wanted to do, it wasnt until i met my husband and have a child, it hit me really hard that i had to put up with all the responsibilities of being a mother. I had chosen a husband that liked want he wanted to do and played games 24-7, even didnt go to work and called sick to finish his dungeon battles,went out with his friends to get drunk, left me alone to take care of our baby yet alongside doing all the house work, paying the bills, shopping and working 40 hours a week was far too much weight on my shoulders. That wasnt fair at all!! i had to grow up quickly but he wanted to stay back and watch me taking all the responsibilities. at the end with that all stress and no time for my happiness , I became critically ill and lucky to be alive today if it was not for my little son.
    I agree that we should never loose our childhood spirit, but have to also remember that somebody has to take care of the finances, children , housework etc. and not fair to put it on one`s shoulders. marriage is about sharing everything, experience together enjoy and be happy together , and also be there for each other when needed especially when one sick!
    Keeping the balance would make everyone happy, leaving my husband was a good decision not the best as he is a part time father just like you, but at least now he understands that life is not all about him doing things that he enjoys all the time, it is about trying and trying hard to keep the balance that his wife and children needed some happiness too…

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    • Matt says:

      I’m so sorry to read this story. I can assure you that I agree with everything you just said.

      This post–the one about playing–is really more about career.

      I think it’s terrifying that so many of us slave away for 40, 50, 60 hours a week. We spend all of our time working or sleeping. Then we die.

      And I’m saying that’s no way to live.

      I’m saying we need to experience fun and joy. And I’m saying human beings were not meant to just work, work, work, then die.

      I applaud you for being a good mother to your son. And I’m so sorry you didn’t receive the kind of love and support and unselfishness necessary to sustain your family unit. That comes first.

      I certainly hope you didn’t think I was advocating being irresponsible in the name of short-term pleasure.

      I just think it’s so important to think about why we were happy as kids and why we’re less happy now. Then we need to pursue things that bring us joy.

      Raising healthy, smart, decent children? That absolutely brings us joy. And I can’t thank you enough for being a great mother. And I pray your son’s father is getting some of this stuff figured out.

      Thank you so much for saying hi and sharing some of your story.

      Like

  35. […] They don’t want to grow up. And I don’t blame them because I don’t want to grow up either. It’s juvenile and immature and impractical. But it doesn’t mean it isn’t a real feeling […]

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