Something that struck me lately is that we all grow older, but at different speeds. About a year ago I had a school reunion. Nearly 40 years since many of us had seen each other. And what struck me was how old some of us had become, and how young others of us had remained.
Sure, we all had wrinkles and shiny heads where one there had been masses of hair – well, the guys, a t least. But for some, quite simply, the spark had gone out. They were fifty-something, going on ninety-something. The Adventure that had once been life was now toil and drudgery. There get up and go had got up and gone. And it had taken their sparkling mischief and unquenchable curiosity with them.
Even now, the friends I stay in touch with are those who have a zest for life about them (My own mother is in her early-eighties, plays ping-pong, cycles and helps out with the “Old Folks” on their trips!)
Why I am attracted to that type of person – the one with the inner child still playing – I have no idea. But I DO know to keep well away from the neggies. Those whom you ask; “How are you today?”, and instead of a breezy reply you get a long list of all their ills and troubles. It sucks the life from you – emotional vampires, I call them.
But the one thing I noticed about those with whom I shrill keep in touch, is that they like a challenge. And I don’t mean the challenge of the golf course… I mean the challenge of life. They still stretch themselves. They still wonder how far they can take things, then go and find out. They grasp life with both hands and suck the marrow from it.
That’s why I keep them close. Because the one thing I want to do each day is to rise and find that the inner child is still there. That the youthful mischief-maker is still alive and well. That way I’ll be eighteen until I die. I hope you will be too.