The last 3 weeks i have been lucky to stay at a beautiful retreat called “My Brother’s Place”. It was been the ideal Basecamp while I went through the stressful process of preparing for another long, remote, unsupported 2,200km section of The Happy Walk. Having loving family around helped a lot.
On my 44th birthday last Sunday I spotted a hula hoop hanging under the patio. It took me back to the playground at Warners Bay Infants School when, as a 6yo, I loved hula hooping. I haven’t tried it since 1978 so I had a go, it didn’t fall and it was fun!
Another opportunity to indulge in the memories of youth happened on Friday night at Katherine YMCA just before I had a chat with the local youth about suicide prevention. The Y has a roller rink and the roller derby girls were having a fitness session. Talk about Friday Flashback! In 1986-88 I roller skated 3 times a week, Tuesday family night, Wednesday school sport and Friday nights, usually at Bennetts Green. Speed skating was my favourite activity and my roller buddy, Rachel, and I always won tandem roller derby, we were invincible! So, on Friday night I found a pair of skates my size, laced myself in, carefully wobbled to the rail and bravely let go to do a figure 8 before remembering I needed to be in one piece to finish walking around Australia. I did not fall and I loved it!
For me, age is just a number. I do not feel 44. I embrace whimsy, silliness, fun, frivolity and connecting with my inner child. I have never been good at this adulting gig but I love having carefree fun. It relieves stress, makes me smile and laugh, makes others smile, brings back the best memories of my childhood with family and friends.
Sometimes, as adults, we forget how to have fun, we get grumpy, irritable, frown so much our wrinkles start to droop. I call this infliction adultitis and here are my top 10 cures.
1 Pull faces at your reflection in the mirror or as you walk past cars and windows. It is more fun when there is someone on the other side of the window!
2 Do an activity you loved as a kid or teen which you haven’t tried since. Do it safely, you don’t want to break anything. That wouldn’t be fun, unless someone captures it on video!
3 Reminisce with siblings about the mischief you made. Climbing trees, trying to bounce each other off the trampoline, cow pat fights!
4 Swing! Next time you walk past a playground with swings take a detour and swing. Feel the wind in your hair, kick off your shoes, throw your head back and laugh!
5 Play board games, twister, musical chairs, make a treasure hunt. Invite friends over to play!
6 Watch cartoons!
7 Dress ups. Make a costume. Remember how much fun dress up days were at school? Why not have a dress up day at work or uni? Join a group like Marvel, Star Wars, Star Trek and visit events where everyone dresses up. Create a new superhero!
8 Build a tree house!
9 Spend time with youth. Play with your kids!
10 Never take yourself seriously!
My niece, graphic artist extraordinaire Jayde, photo shopped a selfie I took with my brother Steve the other day. It is now saved in my phone in case being adult gets in the way of being happy. We can be adult and meet our responsibilities and still know the joy of life, the vitality of laughter and healing vulnerability of being silly with the people we love and trust.