“You have to grow old, but you do not have to grow up.” That is the phrase my father has always told me when I am worried about becoming older. At first I thought it was no more than a funny saying with little meaning, but as I have grown older I have learned to live by those simple words.
You have to grow old and unfortunately there is no way of changing this harsh truth. With every passing minute, hour and day we grow older, but how we grow older and age, are completely up to us. We can dye our hair, get surgeries and treatments to look younger and improve our eyesight through surgery all in the name of looking like our younger selves. However we do not want to completely be our younger selves do we? We grow old for a reason, to learn from our mistakes and our successes. You have to grow old so why not do it with the grace time has given us.
You do not have to grow up and why should you, according to the lost boys in the movie “Hook” all grown ups are pirates and I do not want to be a pirate. I have perhaps held to these words a little too closely telling my wife I have a made up psychological disorder I call “Peter Pan” Syndrome that explains why I will never grow up. This is taking it a little too far, but why shouldn’t we want to not grow up, to wake up every morning with a childlike curiosity for the world around us? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all looked at it through the untainted eyes of a child? I have been trying to live by these words for a long time now and I have not encountered a situation that was not made easier by remembering to keep calm and remain open minded by envisioning the fact that I do not have to grow up.
“You have to grow old but you do not have to grow up” simple words to live by in our ever changing and hectic world. There are many ways to look at this phrase and as I grow older it becomes more relevant. My wife and I have been busy trying to purchase a house, working and taking care of our wonderful son Preston and when I feel overwhelmed I remember I do not have to grow up, but I now want to grow up. Not entirely, but just enough to care for my family, friends and loved ones.
By Clint Mix