A few weeks ago I rode in a family mountain biking event in Sabie which had many water puddles along the route due to rain the previous day. While riding I noticed that the kids participating always rode through the puddles while adults avoided them like the plague, including myself. I watched the anticipation on the kids faces before steering their bikes straight through the middle of the puddle and thereafter the pure joy in their eyes and grins on their faces. I felt a pinch of jealousy, even some envy, I wanted that feeling, I wanted that grin on my face! I tried in vain to ride through the puddles, all I could think about was all the things that could go wrong and the mess on my clothing and bike that would need to be cleaned. I was overcome with sadness, I had lost my inner child. I was this tight assed killjoy adult. I wanted my inner child back, I wanted that grin on my face!
We spend our whole lives experiencing stuff from which we build little rule engines in our minds which determine our future decisions. We slowly block out the wonder with consequences and fears. We stick with the known and avoid the unknown, we become, dare I say it, killjoy’s. We wonder why we are no longer as happy as we were as children and seek answers in self help books, religion, living through our children and who knows what else. We take comfort in the fact that we are no longer children but mature adults now.
I have never liked the idiom “To have one’s cake and eat it too”, so I for one, would like to be a childult i.e a mature adult who experiences childhood joy. From now on I challenge myself to ride through the puddles.