childlike, but not childish

*first let me state that the moon has little to do with this blog post, but I had to share. It’s yesterday’s full moon – the Beaver Moon – and the picture was captured off my deck overlooking the lake.

While mindfully planning with my Bloom organizer and intentionally thinking through the coming weeks and months (rather than the slipshod last minute “plan for the day” of late) I was rewarded with these words on December’s month page: 

“You can’t be what you’ve never been if you don’t do what you’ve never done.”

I paused to let that statement wash over me and reflected on if I truly personify this important statement. I believe I do. Yes, I unabashedly do. I’ve reinvented myself so many times in the last decade that I’ve honestly lost track. In doing so, I’ve aggressively sought out new skills, friends, and attitudes. Although I’ve recently halted the mentality of “reinventing” and have rather adopted an “I’m growing to my personal & professional depth” mindset, the constant inclusive adapting has not ceased.  

My outlook in this second half of my life is “Just because I am another thing, doesn’t mean I’m no longer the other thing.” For example, just because I became a mother didn’t mean I stopped being a wife. The same is true for just because I became a bakery owner didn’t mean I stopped being a reflexologist. I like this approach better. In my sixth decade on this planet, I like not having to make as many choices. I like just rolling with being, rather than deciding. That feels like a solid hug.

I’ve been recently pondering “my sixth decade”. It’s my birthday week and I always slow down enough to consider what has been and what will be. It’s a very intentionally reflective time for me. I quietly give thanks to the events and people who have helped to craft this current version of me, KJ 53.0. Some were intentional with their actions, positively molding me in one way or another. Others were unintentional and negative with their engagement, injuring me in passing, but the rebuilding process delivered something unexpectedly positive for me. Nonetheless, it’s important to me that I acknowledge the highs and lows of this last trip around the sun. 

My friend Michael recently wrote to me in an email, “I turn 56 on Monday. Still feel pretty f*cking immature though, in a childlike but not childish way.” I love the way he phrased that, and I think it may need to be my official mantra for the next year! “Childlike, but not childish…” 

What does “childlike, but not childish” mean to you? 

To me it’s:

Seeing each day as a new opportunity
Talking to strangers with no fear
Appreciating splashes of color & patterns
Pausing with awe nightly as I look at the moon
Talking to my pets with special voices
Dancing subtly to the music playing at the hardware store
Taking life less seriously than most
Maintaining curiosity 
Riding the shopping cart in the parking lot 
Grinning at my luck of catching the colors of the sunrise
Laughing at my accidental mess before cleaning it up
Making eye contact and smiling at people
Stomping in puddles
Setting a timer for chores I loathe, like unloading the dishwasher, and racing the clock
Smelling my coffee before I take the first sip
Stopping to pet cats who aren’t mine
Allowing Mother Nature to influence my moods
Exclaiming out loud when I find pleasure in something 
Licking the beater after making frosting
Splashing in the waves at the beach
Finding amusement in miscommunication rather than getting upset by it
Smelling the air after the grass is just cut
Coasting with my feet off the bike pedals when I’m going fast
Trusting in the magic of “everything happens for a reason”
Making wishes when I blow out candles

I expect will perform the final one tomorrow on my 52nd birthday, and I will complete most of the others as well, as I do every single day. I will step confidently into this 53rd year with immense gratitude for the wisdom to have simplified and slowed our life, allowing space to evolve with intention, not distraction. I will wake tomorrow to the warmth of the sunrise and the promise of all that is yet to come, and I will honor the opportunities that surround me by holding them close with childlike wonder and by taking action to enjoy this gift of another year of living.

2 thoughts on “childlike, but not childish

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