I purchased Harpers Bazaar Magazine today. I am quite sure I have never bought that magazine before, so I don’t know what compelled me today to pick it up. But I did. Inside there was this article by Dominique Browning entitled “Why I Like Getting Older.”
I haven’t read the article. I started to. I plan to finish. Logic would dictate that I finish the article before I write about it, I know. But the kids were distracting me after four paragraphs and I’d already read something that got my brain going, so I figured I’d write it while it was fresh in my head.
The article, from what I can tell, seems to be a positive spin on how getting older allows one to sit back, relax, find confidence, and remember to appreciate the little things. In my language, take stock of their Muchness Moments. Obviously this is a concept I can stand behind.
What stood out to me though was the cavalier way the author dismisses “the ability to be vividly, unreservedly alive” as something only “small children have.” Why? Can only small children and enlightened boomers find a way to be ‘vividly, unreservedly alive?” Even as I write this I feel myself grow resentful of the premise. I LOVE the words “vividly, unreservedly alive.” They are so… aspirational, so inspired, so Muchtastic! I regret that I had let my desire to live “vividly and unreservedly” fade over the years, but I am now here, blogging about vividly unreserved shoes and colors and sparkles and creative ideas that are helping me infuse my life back with an energy that is uniquely, vividly and unreservedly ME.
I guess what I’m saying is, unlike the authors wording would suggest, I don’t think that HAS to fade when you stop being a small child. I think it often does, and that’s sad. But I prefer to think that there are people who are able to maintain that into adulthood! (One of my favorite designers of all time, ever, Betsey Johnson, comes to mind) I think if we, as adults, stop being afraid to live out loud, to live creatively and colorfully and vividly and unreservedly, we may just be lucky enough to raise some children who will learn that they NEVER have to lose that spirit, (only to attempt to try to refind in their golden years or after a tragic loss like I did.) What a gift that would be to a child.
I just commented on Jen’s Post how a few months ago I went to a family event and spent a bit of time talking to a cousin I used to be close with when we were children, but haven’t really seen since I was about 10 or 12 years old. I was yapping away and she commented that my personality “hadn’t changed a bit”. I took it as a compliment and replied that actually, I had changed. But recently, I made the decision to change back. I realized I much preferred the optimistic and colorful and “Why be normal?” irreverence of my youth so I’m making an active effort to reclaim it. Admittedly, it’s harder to be that vivid and unreserved when there are bills to pay, people to answer to, responsibilities to handle… I guess that’s why I look for ways to maintain it- or create it- or remind myself what it looks and feels like. If it’s in the way I respond to a pair of shoes, or some over-the-top nail polish, or even just by paying attention to the beauty of my daughters’ laughter. Those are the Muchness Moments that combine to equal a vivid and unreserved, ie: a MUCHTASTIC existence.
What are some ways you make a conscious effort to live vividly and unreserved- tapping into the enthusiasm you had as a kid? And what are some areas you would like to work on to add a little more of that in your life? I’d love to read your Muchy thoughts!