Play To Stay Young

545513_10151068901303949_1177005509_n I remember a cool Twilight Zone episode (for those who are too young to remember it they hold an annual TZ marathon each year on the Scifi channel) that had to do with a bunch of senior citizens who lived in a retirement home.

In the episode, one of the older men noticed a bunch of young kids playing kick the can (a long time ago game) and yearned for the feeling and excitement of youth. As he watched the kids play day after day he finally became convinced that if he joined them he would become young again.

As such, he tried to get his fellow senior citizens to join him in a game of kick the can. One of his friends and the overseer of the retirement home tried as best they could to convince them they were too old to play and that it would harm them. The old guy finally got nearly all of the others but his one oldest and closest friend to join them.

Lo and behold they all became young again after playing the game and his old friend was left alone and feeling regretful.

Now I’m certainly not inferring that if we play childhood games that we will become eight years old again but at the same time I truly believe that the activity of play can keep us both young at heart and vital.

As people get older and further from their youth there is a tendency to  come to believe that playing games is only for the young. They are told that life is a serious game and that it’s more important to stay focused on career, responsibilities and saving for retirement than wasting time on childlike endeavors.

Throughout my life I have had my share of hardships and struggles and can honestly say that I was serious about performing well on my job, taking care of my family and being at least somewhat responsible (how much so depends on who you ask). But what I believe got me through all of that and helped keep me young at heart was my ability to play and have fun.

Whether it be from surfing, snowboarding, tennis, simply having a catch or playing frisbee, building a sand castle, taking a dive in the ocean, or doing whatever activity that gives you joy or puts a smile on your face just do it and see how much better you feel.

Life can be a real struggle at times and there is always enough horror in the world to deal with but we don’t have to let it get the best of us. I truly believe that if we all played and thought more like children at times that there would be a lot less hatred and violence in the would and we would all be a lot happier.

Thanks for checking in and I’ll see you later. As a matter of fact, as I will be away for a couple of weeks doing book signings, visiting family and friends and surfing I will be posting an additional blog later today as I won’t be posting again until my return in two weeks.

Aloha, Paul

About authorpaulhayden

Author, artist, screenwriter, environmentalist. husband, father, surfer, surfing instructor, volunteer.
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