3 ways to stay young at heart

Age is nothing but a number.

That is what my grandmother used to say when someone would ask her how old she was.
I never had the chance to discover my grandmother’s real age. She did a very good job of keeping it a secret.

“Granny, how old are you?” I would ask.

“Oh would you look at the time? Why don’t you go outside and play with your friends my dear?” She would reply.

She would always suggest that I go out and play. Like, playing would somehow make me forget my question. She eventually explained to me that her age made her feel old and that although she was old on the outside she still felt young on the inside.  She was so sweet.

Here are 3 clues to let you know that you are still young at heart:

1. Did someone say Ice-cream?

Picture the scene.

You’re sat down at home with your family in the living room. All of a sudden, you hear a noise.

No, not noise.

You hear a sound. A sort of melody that creates an emotion in your heart. An emotion of endless summer days and joyful laughter. Yes you guessed it. It’s the ice cream van driving through your neighbourhood. You leap out of your chair and rush for the front door. Your heart is pounding as you gallop through the streets. As you get to the van you realise that your whole neighbourhood has ascended on to the van also. It’s as if you’re all Eagles swooping in for the kill. Poor ice-cream truck driver. He never stood a chance did he? Then finally, you can see it. You can feel it in your hands. A tall cone filled with chilled vanilla ice-cream decorated with sprinkles and crowned by a single protruding Cadbury’s chocolate flake.

If you still do this as a grown up then there is a pretty good chance that you’re young at heart. Alternatively you may just have an ice-cream addiction. In either case you should always be careful chasing vans down the street.

2. Believer

Have you ever been told that you are too gullible? Or that you are silly for believing in a particular story or tale? Well, don’t be ashamed of this. Having belief in someone or something is a charming trait of youth. I used to believe that my Father was the strongest man in the world. I would actually walk around school telling this supposed fact to everyone.

Me: “My Dad is the strongest dad in the world!”

Random Classmate: “No, my dad is stronger than your dad!”

Me: “In your dreams!”

Random Classmate: “Whatever. My dad is strong enough to lift up a car…”

Me: “Well my dad can lift up two cars at the same time!”

And so on and so forth.

Belief stems from the innocence of trust. Like when we used to believe in Santa Clause. Could someone really deliver presents down a chimney? The chimney in my house is pretty slim. That means that Santa would have to be one seriously dedicated individual…

Just for the record, if anyone reading this still believes in Santa Clause then I’m sorry. For all I know he could actually exist. He may just be thinner than most people think.

Ahem!

I fondly remember watching Superman the movie when I was 7 years old. Not the recent one, but the one starring the late great Christopher Reeve. What a man. As I watched it for the first time I remember thinking that this super man was quite special. When the film had finished I leant back on the sofa and rested my hand behind my head proudly. It was as if i had just saved the world myself. My sister was watching the film with me.

“You know, this Superman guy…” I said.
“Yeah, what about him?” My sister replied.
“I’m going to meet him one day. He rescued that cat from the tree with so much grace. So elegant isn’t he?!”
“Elegant?” My sister turned to face me. “How are you going to meet him then?” She did her best not to smile.

“Well what we need to do is take a flight to America. He’s most probably based over there. We would obviously need to contact the Daily Planet beforehand to let them know we are coming and of course we wouldn’t want to blow his cover.”

At this point my sister started to look around to see if anyone else was listening.

“How long do you think the flight to America would be?” She asked.

“Hmm… Not sure, maybe a couple of hours.” I replied. “In any case we would need to speak to his tailor about getting me a pair of those blue tights. They rock!…”

My sister nodded her head slowly. The laughter was building up inside.

Suddenly my big brother walks into the room.

“Bro, what are you on about?” He shouts. “Superman isn’t real. That guy on TV is just an actor.” He continued to speak as he left the room talking over his shoulder.

I paused momentarily before turning my gaze to my sister for confirmation. She avoids my gaze and whistles.

I start to cry.

3. Saturday morning TV.

Have you ever wondered what children kids happy?

I like to watch TV. As a grown up I find my self glued to the daily news. There is always something going on isn’t there?! From fighting in the middle east to economic and political fears around the world. There is always something to pop up and add a little stress to the mind. The real problem is that finding out about this negative news can become a habit. Some people get used to hearing negative news. After a while you grow accustomed to this news and begin to expect negative news in your daily life.

Neighbour 1: “Nice weather outside today.
Neighbour 2: “Yes we should enjoy it whilst it lasts.”

Why should there be a time limit on good weather? Shouldn’t we just enjoy good weather in the moment?

When I was a child I loved to watch cartoons. It was like an escape from realism. My mind was not weighed down with thoughts of negativity. instead my thoughts were filled with questions like. Does bugs bunny floss? Or, does mickey mouse prefer Cheddar cheese or Stilton cheese? Those were some of my fondest memories.

Keeping our minds free from negative thoughts and embracing the innocent mindset of children can be a useful exercise.

Give it a go and see for yourself.

 

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