Why kids are happier than adults: take responsibility for your life

When was the last time you felt true excitement?  The kind of excitement that floods your body with a molten sensation, filling you up with more energy and life than you know what to do with.  Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.

When was it?  When you skipped a step and fell to the next landing?  Maybe when you watched a movie or a play that moved you to tears because it was so beautiful?  Or maybe when you went skydiving recently…?

No?  Maybe, maybe not.

Or perhaps you haven’t felt this type of sensation since you were a kid.  When we were young, everything was exciting.  Think about it.  You are new to the world, and everything in it is brand new.  Even to the time when you grow up and graduate high school, go to college, move to a new town, travel, get married, buy a house, and have a baby, you may be lucky enough to feel giddy that tingles into your toes.

spice up your life

I understand a new level of blah that I didn’t think would happen, and I’m sure you do, too.

I got married two years ago and immediately began a full time job after graduating and earning my second degree all in the span of three weeks.  I was at my prime!  I had everything going for me;

  • I was getting married to my best friend and at our favorite spot in the whole world (the Outerbanks, NC),
  • my family was so supportive and was there through the happiest time of my life (this was a big deal because even though I had just 9 of my family members at my wedding, I’ve never had this level of love and support from them in the past-it was a big deal),
  • I was graduating after working my butt off in the field I’ve dreamed of working in and am so passionate about,
  • I had successfully completed my program with awesome grades, tons of volunteer hours and internships, and lots of great references for future career advancements-all from a reputable school (U of A),
  • I was fit, healthy, and loved every thing about myself-not in a cocky way(a big feat since I struggled with this since childhood),
  • I had just accepted a full time job that would pay enough to allow us to play a little, but was a job totally unrelated to my field, just 4 minutes from where we lived
  • I was totally confident, inspired, energetic, loved, and passionate

Everything was right, and I routinely felt the type of excitement you see in kids peering at the tree and presents of Christmas morning.  It was the best time of my life.

Think back on the last time you felt this excitement.  Where were you?  What was happening in your life?  How did it make you feel?  Did it last for a long time, or was it a blip?

When we’re kids, everything is taken care of.  We’re loved, we’re fed, we’re put to bed in a safe and warm house (hopefully) and all is right in the world.  No worries of bills, of making dinner, of paying for the broken furnace-nothing.  Your only concern was if you eat a pb&j or popcorn after school, or what cartoons you’d rather watch on Saturday morning.

You experienced everything for the first time and felt the flooded excitement each time you encountered something new.  A crush liking you back, making a three-point shot during a basketball game, riding a roller coaster, waking up on Christmas morning, being scared at a haunted house, etc.

I want these times back.  For when I became an adult-or once I graduated certain levels of adulthood, things have become sort of blah.

Even kids who were kept on a tight leash desired to rip free and would succeed into getting in trouble.  You know those kids, perhaps you were one.

Not to say that I’m not happy or unhappy, but I just feel lifeless.  A robot.  A mindless being just trudging through the daily tasks of life.

It’s like a game, almost.  When we’re young, we desire and dream to be an adult, to get our license to drive, to have or first kiss, to go out of the country, to be the best, to be recognized, to get engaged, etc. etc.

But what happens when we achieve all those things we craved for so long?

For me, life became monotonous, stale, uneventful.

When adults feel this way we tend to go astray and having “mid-life crises”.  I’m nowhere near mid-life, but I have recently heard of “quarter-life crises”, ha!

To clear some things up, I love being married and having the money to pay my bills with a little leftover.  That’s no question, but what I’m not excited about is not experiencing the type of excitement I’ve recently just described.

Going to my 9-5 job every day that brings no joy, making the same dinners weekly, grabbing the same cup of coffee every morning, to going grocery shopping once a week, sitting down to pay my dreaded bills and seeing my hard earned money disappear right in front of me has made me desire…something more.

In addition, after my dad passed away in June I’ve learned something about life other than it sucks to lose a loved one.  My dad spent his whole life in a negative mind frame, but always wanting more.  He never got it.

One, because he felt it meant that you were weak if you had fun and didn’t work 24/7,

and two, because he never allowed himself to truly enjoy life or be positive about most things.

He died miserable, rarely enjoying life.

He was a very hardworking man, and I never met a more determined, tough, and strong willed person in my life.  In that, he taught me many things, but mostly that life is meant to be enjoyed, but we must allow ourselves to enjoy it.  We mustn’t let the world dull our sparkle, where we inevitably become bitter and hateful.

I have let life get to me.  However, make no mistake that it’s not the world or society or peer pressure that has made you sour, uninspired and unmotivated.

Yes, the average lifestyle sets you up boring, it’s just how it is.  But isn’t that what we’ve worked so hard for since we were young?

To get married, get that fancy 9-5 job and buy a house with a white picket fence and a dog?  It’s mainstream, and it’s designed to be as “perfect” as possible.

Have you ever heard that perfect is boring?  It’s the imperfection of this life and of this world that is most exciting and desirable.  Think about it!  That one spot on an all white cat’s face makes him adorable, or those freckles speckled over your niece’s cheeks make her unique and beautiful.  Or when you peer down at that gorgeous rustic newly-built home with the nicked (on purpose) wood floors, you realize its more beautiful scarred than if they were pristine?

Imperfection is beautiful, and it’s what fills our lives with the excitement you desperately desire.

EXAMPLE:  You will forever remember the exciting times in your life-your wedding day, your first kiss, when you won the big game, when you sold your first book.  You will NOT remember the non-exciting times.  What did you do last year on a random Tuesday?  I probably got home from work, kicked off my shoes, made a ho-hum ‘healthy’ dinner, watched tv, and went to bed-where I’d do the same exact thing the following day.  I will never remember these days (don’t get me wrong, these days have their place and I do enjoy my downtime, but I will not be a able to tell you what happens in between all the exciting times)

perspective

We all know that person who needs to plan out an event so perfectly that they are completely outside themselves in fear that something will fall out of place. They are tense, they are nervous, and incredibly unhappy-not to mention constipated.

Or that student who will have an anxiety attack if they don’t get above a 98% on their exam. Or your grandmother who constantly apologizes for how the holiday dinner isn’t perfect enough and doesn’t even get to enjoy the company around her because she’s too worried about the meal.  Or that friend who is so good at something and would be so successful if they would surpass the fear of not putting out complete perfection, and instead never creating anything.

It’s a SHAME.

NOTE:  You may not be this person, and are content with a subtle lifestyle. That is perfectly fine!  But I guess you still crave some of these exciting times.  Me?  I know I’m happier when I have these high levels of excitement-but with it comes low levels of contempt.  Think of a graph where it’s constantly rising and falling.  

As kids, we are made to make mistakes-that’s how we learn.  But as adults, making mistakes are unacceptable to most, which drives us to strive for a level of perfection (it’s different for everyone), which leads to monotony, boredom, and zero excitement.

But here’s the secret: the only influence on this desired perfection is solely your responsibility.  Yes, society, family, friends, coworkers, spiritual leaders, advisors, etc. may suggest certain milestones and paths that you should take for X, Y, and Z, but you are your responsibility for what you do.  That’s it.

No one told me I had to go to college, or graduate a second time with X amount of student debt. No one told me I had to get a 9-5 job that I hated even though it was reputable.  No one forced me to skip spending money on traveling the world because it was irresponsible.  No one made me get married, buy a house, or eat all my vegetables.

I did.

Everything of which I am experiencing in my life right now is a result of the choices I made previously in life.

It. Was. All. Me.

And guess what?

Since I had the power to create the life I am living now, I also have the power to change my circumstances, to get out of my monotony, to travel the world, quit my job, to do things that scare the crap out of me, or to eat a whole chocolate cake every day.  That last one sounds great, actually 😉

You are your deciding factor for your own life.  I don’t care of the responsibilities you may have, the bills you have, or how tied down you think you are.  We all have these responsibilities, but the only way it doesn’t affect us is if we choose to not be slaves to our own lives.

You can experience life for the first time again.  You can experience that delicious warmth that zaps through you when something exciting happens. You can be a kid again!

I have written a list of things I want to do in the next year of my life that will bring me the excitement I desire most-sort of like resolutions, but timelines are so restrictive 😉

  1. go skydiving – seriously!  What better way than to scare the pants off me?
  2. travel to the west coast – Wyoming, Oregon, Utah, etc.
  3. go to 3-4 plays – I love plays, I’m always moved by the dedication, creativity and hard work put into production
  4. make 5 new friends
  5. create a product to sell
  6. karaoke – enough said !
  7. go snorkeling or scuba diving in the tropics
  8. to be determined

How about you?  Are you contempt, or are you lacking the motivation you know that’s buried deep within? Have you been able to find something that excites you and inspires you?  How do you keep the spice in your life?

 

 

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