“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing”- George Bernard Shaw
Noun- an adult with an air of free-spiritedness; childlike in spirit. A person who knows how to have fun.
Adjective- Characteristic of an adult engaged in lighthearted behavior; to have a good, entertaining time.
Take a few minutes and think back to your younger years and what you did. Picture yourself first as a kid- did you play outside, read books, play sports, build Legos, do arts and crafts? Now picture yourself a littler older in high school. What emotions were present at those times? What energy did you feel? Two emotions I feel when “playing” are joy and connection. They are two things I really value in life, and two things I felt as a kid. I can feel this way when I’m playing Ping-Pong or games with my cousins, also when I’m engaging with my coworkers, joking around with each other. It’s that simple.
Somewhere in adolescence is when we start to define our lives based on what the world thinks of us, and what the world is pushing us to do. We lose sight of what is fun. Without realizing it we stop doing these things from our youth.
What would it look like for you to be a kidult? If you could be free now and be a person who knows how to have fun (put time, work, kids, all responsibilities aside) what would you do to feel the way you did before you were an adult? What would life without restraint be like for you? I don’t just mean be able to get a couple more rounds of golf in or binge watch your favorite TV shows, even if those are things you enjoy. What could you do today to feel those same emotions as when you were a kid?
Just like exercise requires getting yourself in the right mindset, the same is true for play. As adults we don’t think it’s okay. You need to ALLOW YOURSELF TO PLAY! Many studies are now showing the biological importance of play and it’s positive impact on the human brain. Other benefits include better relationships, more successful at work, bonding, and better moods.
Be spontaneous, set aside your ego, do something you haven’t done in a while and create those opportunities to play. Be a Kidult.