One of the great joys of having children is that they bring all these other incredible people into your life. There is nothing sweeter than sitting at the table with your adult kids and their friends, sharing a glass of the good stuff and generally talking shit. It’s a moment I have experienced with an enormously grateful heart in recent years and makes every cross word, every angst ridden moment seem like a distant memory.
I constantly feel inspired by these young adults as they commence their navigation of life and am blessed that they share some of their journeys with me. We hear so much negative press about the “millennial” generation but I am invigorated by the members of this generation I know.
For one thing, the enthusiasm they bring to understanding themselves and their place in the world is contagious. Perhaps it is the ones I am exposed to, perhaps it is the wisdom of age that makes me look upon them with a mixture of reminiscence, longing and gentle patience. I don’t really know and to be honest, consciously chose not to over analyse. I just know, with every beat of my heart, that I love spending time with them. There is a little part of me that is envious of the sense of exploration and willingness they share with me to know themselves, to be better versions of themselves, often with an eye to the greater good.
The ones I have spent time with recently demonstrate such readiness to listen and learn some skills that could help them make sense of life. It makes me reflect on my own early 20s to wonder what might have been different if I had sought out this level of counsel. In any case, seems you can teach an old dog some new tricks as I learn something new with every conversation, in the same way that I hope I impart some hard won, worldly wisdom back to them.
What are some of these learnings for me I hear you ask? For one thing, they keep my musical education evolving. Who would have thought that Snoop Dog could be so entertaining? They help me manage my ever increasing reliance on technology. They tell me when I’m being too hard on someone that has pushed my buttons, or being a bit judgemental, or driving too fast, or eating the wrong foods.
Once this might have annoyed me but no more. I am centred enough now to know what will or won’t work for me and their well-intentioned teasing makes me laugh.
More than anything though, what they inspire in me is an overwhelming desire to keep living life to the fullest. One who is very dear to me recently said something about ensuring they live, and I quote, “the full magnitude of life”.
Isn’t that the most brilliant line? It bears repeating folks:
The full magnitude of life……..
How many of us can say we do that? Granted, there are bills to pay and work to do and laundry to be done and gardens to be mowed. We all know it’s important to have a certain level of routine and have some boundaries, especially once you start getting those commitments like a mortgage, family, kids. We all need a bit of structure – that’s how humans are programmed to think!
Seems to me though that somewhere along the way, in the midst of all that adulting, we lose our sense of fun. We forget what it’s like to be open to every experience that comes our way and to believe that anything is possible. We forget that here and now is all that we have and that, in living for tomorrow and what MAY happen, we have lost that art of enjoying the very moment we find ourselves in right NOW.
The challenge is bringing this spirit to the little things as well as the grand activities. It requires an open mind and, more importantly, an open heart. When you are open, the most wonderful people will surprise you; they can fill your heart with so much love that you may feel fit to burst and inspiration can be found everywhere.
Live your life in glorious technicolour every day with curiosity and zero judgement.
Who knows what doors it may open for you?
Bring a little bit of generation “why the hell” not into everything you do.
Couldn’t we all use a bit of that full magnitude of life?