I may be about to turn 39 and headed to my 20th high school reunion this weekend, but I don't see myself as older than 30.
But I act like a 12 year old whenever I can.
I enjoy juvenile jokes, I love superheros, and I am proud to say I can still do flips and backflips on the trampoline. I know these things about myself because I am not afraid to engage in the frivolities of being child-like from time to time.
I spend my days with 14-18 years so ready to grow up and be adults and I want to tell them to slow down. Enjoy the innocence of life without taxes and bills and adult obligations. Then I look at my fellow educators and I want to tell them to take the same advice. Don't be irresponsible and derelict, but do have fun. I know that when I am really struggling with the weight of life, taking a moment to let the inner child out is good for my soul. So here are ten things I suggest you do:
1. Read Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, or Percy Jackson. Again. And for fun, not to analyze symbolism and metaphor.
2. Buy a Nerf gun. If you have children of your own, get them one. Then shoot at them. If you don't have kids, shoot at your friends. Buying them one is optional.
3. Collect something a kid would. Action figures, comic books, baseball cards, Pokemon, video games, whatever you loved as a kid.
4. Play. With toys, in the backyard, on a trampoline (or at a trampoline park). Do an obstacle course 5k, or color run or mud run.
5. Sleep in. If you are able to.
6. Eat candy. Within moderation. Thinking you are 12 does not give you the metabolism of a 12 year old.
7. Have a campfire with friends and family. Roast marshmallows, tell scary stories and count the stars.
8. Ride a bike as fast as you can and coast down a hill- pedals flying free.
9. If is snows, make a snowman and have a snowball fight. Or catch fireflies.
10. Watch a movie you love and see if you can remember all the lines and recite them.
None of these will meet the educational standards you have to cover, but I truly believe if you try at least a couple of these from time to time, you will meet those standards with smile.
And maybe it will translate into your students smiling more as well.