notquiteold

Gracefully Aging – With Resistance

Oh, Grow Up!

Remember that book from about twenty-five years ago – “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten” ?

It was a cute little book with life lessons like:

“Put things back.”

“Don’t take stuff that isn’t yours.”

“Wash your hands before you eat.”

The book was a huge hit, but I’m not sure how much it really taught me. I already knew that I should Flush.

But everyone wishes they could live as simply as children again.

Just this week I read an article about bringing back the child in you, “Five Things You Can Learn From Children“.

1. Laugh More.

2. Love More.

3. Take More Risks.

4. Stay Curious.

5. Be Forgiving.

Well, okay, sure.  Nice, but obvious. Except the ‘Take More Risks‘ part. From what I’ve seen, kids are incredibly fearful of all kinds of stuff. Cauliflower. Ants. Beards. Balloons. Water. Makes my fear of marionettes and escalators entirely reasonable.

But while we are trying to be more childlike every day – Let’s please remember that we aren’t really children anymore.

So, Grow Up!

Here’s my list of behaviors that are not Childlike. They’re Childish.

1. No one cares that it’s your birthday. Everyone has one. You aren’t special. Don’t expect your co-workers to remember. Consider yourself ahead of the game if your spouse remembers.

2. A tantrum will not get you what you want. Well, it might work the first year you are married. After that, you get ignored. Tantrums are worse at work. No one will want to work with you. Expect to get fired. If you own your own business, expect ridiculous turnover. And get a good lawyer.

3. Remember how your mother said that you were a genius? This may not be true. Get an independent opinion before you run for office, submit that manuscript, or audition for American Idol.

4. On the other hand, remember how your father said you were a moron?  This may also have been an exaggeration. It’s amazing what you can accomplish by paying attention, reading directions, and sticking with it. Try shit.

And finally:

5. Despite how much fun it was in second grade, not everyone should (or wants to) see your underpants.

32 Comments

  1. AMEN!!

  2. I have a fear of escalators too! Have trouble getting on the darn things. This was just a great post – and what you say about kids taking risks is so true. One of my resolutions for 2012 was to take more risks–not a really easy thing to do.
    Love your advice to adults — I was lucky though–my mother never over praised me and my father never put me down–but then again, I am older, and I think parents were more circumspect in the 1960s. I am a parent who thinks my kids are geniuses though..

  3. Donna Fortier

    I’d like to add one more – no one at your job is going to give you a gold star for doing the work you are expected to do!

    • That’s a great one!

      • And you just reminded me of another I should have included:
        “When you were five, the world may have stopped when you had a boo-boo. But you are a grown-up now, and life goes on whether you have a headache or a cold or an upset tummy. Suck it up.”

  4. Perfect. I heariily agree.

  5. Are you certain about #5? I only ask because it seems there are an awful number of people showing their underwear and a great amount of media dedicated to showing the underwear of others. So I just am asking.

    The rest, perfect and I would add, Donna’s addition would be great.

  6. So, I take it there’s a lot of drama going on in your office these days??

  7. 1. Yes please. The birthday should have stopped being exciting after 21.
    2. More yes. Kids look like little asses when they do it so what do grown ups look like?
    3. YES!!!!!!!!
    4. So true. The paying attention part.
    5. Amen.

    Brilliant post.

  8. I may post your list on my fridge for the young adults in my home, under a magnet that says Suggested Reading. This could save them years of trial and error. Thanks.

    In regards to strange fears, I share your discomfort with mairenettes. My parents brought one home from Mexico for me when I was three. At a later age I may have found her just as interesting as my parents did. But at three her wild wide-eyed stare made her look deranged. My parents left her unimaginably life-like and hanging from the doorknob in my room. I wanted her strings cut off so she wouldn’t wake up when others entered my room and dance and bang into the door anymore and scare the crap out of me. Puppets of any kind still make me a little queazy. As for escalators, well, I take the stairs.

  9. Thank you for #5! As a guy, I am sick to death of the lingerie show seen daily at the mall or grocery store. There’s a time and place, but that isn’t it.

  10. I’d pay big money to read a whole book of those.

  11. A long time ago, Bill Gates gave a commencement speech with things like this. I had it posted in my office (as the head of HR) and made people read it. As for the underwear — we posted pictures of our company picnic. One of them had an employee sitting at a picnic bench with her thong showing. She threw a fit and made us take down the picture. I couldn’t figure out why as everyone had already seen her thong AT the picnic! People are crazy!

    • There’s nothing more mystical than a total lack of logic.

    • That thong story made me laugh right out loud. Yeah, what’s all the “Look at me! Look at me!” that turns into “What are YOU looking at?!” It definitely is crazy. ;)

  12. Another delightfully funny and oh-so-true post! I hope you are collecting all of them for a book! I will definitely buy it.

  13. I figure seeing a thong is way better than seeing the buttcrack, but maybe that’s just me. Awesome list though!

  14. You really do make me laugh – and I needed to laugh today! Thanks!

    • You make me laugh every day. Glad I can repay you once in a while.

  15. Excellent! Great list of real world advice – I completely agree!

  16. Nancy, you are good. I am so tired of saying “pull up your pants.”

  17. i got so sick of that everything i needed to know i learned in kindergarten. everyone needs to follow your advice.

  18. Love! I was at a lecture recently where the man was describing various generations, major world events during their formative years, how they engage best in public discourse, and stereotypes about their behavior/values. When he got to “Generation Y” he showed a cartoon of saggy pants and the “Y” of butt cheeks to explain their label. :)

  19. That picture is awesome!

  20. ah ha! Truer words were never spoken. It all boils down to one thing my Gramma and Mom told us kids over and over again; “Don’t worry about what people think about you, because people aren’t thinking about you at all.”

    Took the wind right out of my sails. What teenage angst can stand up against THAT thought. What? No one is thinking about me? Nope. Everyone is thinking about THEMSELVES! Bingo.

    So, yeah. Get over yourself and grow up. Excellent advice. And, I would also pay for a book on this subject. :D

  21. Thanks for all that you post! I enjoy it so much I am nominating you for the “Sunshine Blogger award” !! You can get the details and accept the award at my blog

    http://mommahasapottymouth.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/oh-sunny-day/

    • Thank you for the nomination. I’m delighted you like my stories.

  22. This is really funny–I’m still laughing!! (Good reminders, too, that what Mom says isn’t always quite truthful–it’s laced with layer after layer of pent-up emotional issues…) The disclaimer about Mom’s statements can be used creatively by all of us to, well, rationalize pretty much whatever needs rationalizing! I like that!

  23. Bravo!!! Makes me want to write a blog on this nonsense, too! Very good writing.

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