Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
16 Jan

16 Things You Should Have Never Stopped Doing

Don't Stop!As children, we live closer to our instincts. Yes, there’s the humorous and rather unfortunate side to this – like the time you ate an entire bag of Twizzlers and threw up all over your great-aunt’s carpet. In addition to the plethora of bad decisions (as if adults don’t make those too), however, there’s the extravagant daring and that amazing, irrepressible exuberance.

As adults, we might know better than to gorge on dye #40, but we’re tripped up by other things. We become distanced, detached from our instincts. The responsibilities, the schedule, the expectations surrounding our culture’s take on maturity can cast us out of the land of exuberance. It’s like we get gradually diverted to a boring Interstate stretch after traveling the scenic route. The road is efficient, utilitarian and might have nicer rest stops, but it often feels like a major letdown. What does it take to find our way back to the panoramas? What are the things we never should’ve stopped doing in the first place? I hope you add your own to the list. Let me throw out a few I’ve been thinking of today.

Climb – anything.

In addition to the workout, there’s something about the vantage point of height. Sitting in a tree, for example, you see the world and your problems differently for a short time. Once you’re on solid ground again, reality settles back in, but you’re different for having lived that time in a novel perspective. Find a favorite tree, a place you can sit on your roof, or build yourself a treehouse. Yes, it’s for you. Why not?

Jump in puddles (or snow mounds).

We adults get too fussy about weather. Our idea of inclement weather increasingly expands until we talk ourselves out of enjoying the vast majority of days. Invest in some real rain gear like you had when you were young (or just write off the need to stay dry altogether). Get out there and relish the bad weather like the amusement park it used to seem like. The novelty only wore off when we lost our imagination to make it so.

Play in the sand, dirt, mud, creek, lake, etc.

In other words, make a disgusting mess of yourself. Indulge/immerse for the all-important microbes, the sensory feast, and the subversive act of it. (It’s the ultimate snub to society’s confines.) Why do we take such pride, for example, in driving around a mud encrusted SUV? The real adventure is getting yourself caked in muck.

Eat food right off the plant/out of the dirt.

Speaking of soil… If children today even demonstrate so much as a musing to pick an apple off a tree, five parents rush over panicked yelling “Let me wash that for you!” Those of you who grew up in the 70s or earlier were probably running the neighborhood and your parents had no idea what you were up to. Left to their own devices, you probably ate any number of produce items pulled directly from the bushes, trees, and dirt (as well as worms, bugs, and other dare worthy items). You were meant to eat your fair share of dirt then. Take the chance to enjoy the same Primal goodies now.

Tell the truth.

Yeah, kids will give away the farm in any conversation while the parents bury their heads in mortification. It’s in kids’ natures to put it all out there, of course. They don’t mean any harm. As we get older, we become more tactful, we tell ourselves, more discreet and sensible, but I think there’s something we tend to give up in the process. Maybe we bury our own feelings too much. Maybe we don’t speak out against what our conscience tells us because we’re afraid of offending others, not fitting in, rocking the boat. While I don’t think anyone should give up on basic respect and reasonable limits, there’s a certain freedom in letting our emotions and true selves rise closer to the surface as they did when we were kids.

Let go of grudges.

As Crista noted in the comment section of last week’s 10 Habits of Highly Successful Hunter-Gatherers, kids are the perfect example when it comes to fix it and forget it. Forgive and move on. There’s just not enough time for bitterness when you know Mom is going to call you for dinner in two more hours. Why give up the chance for fun and risk missing out on anything good?

Test limits.

Remember pedaling as furiously as you could just to see how fast your inner superhero could go? How about jumping again and again to get higher and higher, to reach this branch and then that one. Childhood was like a never ending quest to see how brave we were. Why did we ever let go of that instinct or at least confine it into the tiny space of a career function or other “acceptable” trial? We’re clearly missing out. So go ahead. Throw a tennis ball at the wall of your house and see how many hundred times you can catch it. Run as fast as you can just for the sheer amusement of it. See how many Big Wheels you can jump over. Trust me, it’s just as important as what you had planned for the day.


Remember staring at the trees or just out the window for long stretches as a kid? We thought big thoughts or maybe just examined the pattern of scratches on the sill. We’d do well to give ourselves the same mental leisure once in a while. Not only is it relaxing, it can morph into its own flow state when we can be at our most creative.

Move spontaneously.

The daughter of a friend of ours is the perfect example. At six years old, she’s still in that “living fabulous” phase (which every parent hopes will never end). She sings at frequent and random parts of the day. She runs and leaps and dances at whim whether she’s in a grocery store, on the beach, at school, or at home. How do we lose that? Remember the days before self-consciousness set in? When did we stop doing what feels good in the moment? Even if you can’t bring yourself to dance at your work station (although I’ve known plenty of fun people who do), let loose at home and consider trying some Parkour, Zumba, or other way to get you moving differently for your workouts. It’s a start.

Go to bed early.

Sure, we all whined and belly ached about it, but in ten minutes we were out like lights. Play hard, sleep hard. The early turn-in did more than give our parents some peace and quiet. There’s truth to the adage, an hour before midnight is worth two after. It has to do with our circadian rhythms and the pattern of deeper sleep. We stay up late to carve out more personal time or to get more done, but we’d be better off hitting the sack early and dialing back the alarm clock by an hour or two. No one loves getting up early, but we’d be better rested throughout the day as a result. We’d also enjoy a lot less stressful and more productive beginning to the day.

Laugh early and often throughout the day.

Spend a day around young kids, and you’ll lose count of how many times they yuck it up in a day. They’ll laugh for minutes on end at the simplest, even most inane things. And I’m not talking one of the polite chuckles we adults often grant each other in conversation. The old “Chicken butt” joke alone elicits round upon round of riotous belly laughs. Sure, we might need more incentive than the average four-year-old, but why don’t we prioritize laughter more? There are the laughter yoga groups, yes, but how many hilarious books, stand-up, and movies are out there? Who are the friends and acquaintances with the personalities and stories to keep you laughing for hours? Your cardiovascular system needs these folks. It flourishes with the entertainment.


How many of us stayed up late with flash lights under the covers to read our favorite books? (Okay, so we didn’t always get to sleep right away.) It was easy to get swept up then in imagining other worlds. Maybe it was because we’d likely seen so little of the world at that point. Picking up a good book today can be a therapeutic escape from the day or a reminder to get out and make more of life.

Play games.

Somehow kickball never got old as a kid. Neither did Frisbee or ping pong or just about any other game. The movement, the challenge, the competition, the humor, the adrenaline of it all kept our enthusiasm running at full speed for hours. As an adult these days, a whole game can seem like such a commitment. We guard our time “responsibly” but too often go and blow it on the Internet (present blog excluded) or other media. Sometimes we even seem to sit uncomfortably with it, unwilling to commit to a real activity because we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop and another chore to appear. Free time should be quality time. Take a leap of faith and commit to a board game. Even better, find out how much more fun tug-of-war is in the snow. Play some hockey on the ice at the corner park, or do relays in the backyard with the kids.


We were at a cabin a few months ago with a larger group. One friend is an art teacher and kept the kids absolutely enthralled by building small houses with all the wood, rocks, flowers, and leaves they could find. The result – and his enthusiastic example – were impressive. Unless we’re in a creative profession, we tend to give that side of ourselves short shrift as adults. Exercising our creativity can help us hone our identities as we get older and celebrate new stages of our lives. Other times it just feels good.

Skip meals (when there’s something more exciting to be enjoyed).

Remember how crushed you were when it was time to come in for lunch/dinner/errands/school/etc. when you and your friends were just getting to the best part of your play? You were on the very edge of a full-blown revelation, the cusp of some great and grandiose scheme that was sure to propel you all toward some amazing success. You know the benefits of intermittent fasting, but it doesn’t have to be the formal, preplanned routine we often make it. If you keep life busy and spontaneous enough, you just might find plenty of opportunity to fit in fasting without ever thinking about it.

Stay outside until the last possible minute.

Why do we impose such early curfews on ourselves? Didn’t we all swear up and down that when we grew up we’d stay out as long as wanted (foot stomp added for emotional emphasis)? Imagine what would be possible if we opened up several more hours to relish the outdoors? Sure, we might miss the benefits of the sun, but the evening and night offers their own rhythms we can enjoy. They inspire different moods, different activities, different adventures. Why limit our outdoor lives?

Next one – your turn. What are the things you think we should’ve never stopped doing? Thanks for reading today, everybody. Share the stuff you refuse to outgrow, and have a great weekend.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I especially like the last one. My wife and I refer to “grownup dark” and “kid dark”. You know it is only grownup dark when the kids all say, “aw c’mon, it’s not really dark.”

    Rand wrote on January 16th, 2013
  2. Ha ha, I guess I never grew up because I still do pretty much all of those things except jump in puddles and eat fruit off the tree(rarely have the opportunity). If you are going to eat fruit right off the tree you should make sure it is organic if you aren’t going to wash it. Don’t want to get a mouth full of pesticides.

    Wayne Atwell wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • If anyone thinks that washing fruit will remove pesticides, I’m afraid they’re kidding themselves. Fruit that has had pesticides applied to it will have them soaked right inside. Some of us lucky ones have fruit trees in our gardens and eating it straight off the branch, provided there’s no bird poop on it, is the only way to go!

      Totaldoug wrote on January 23rd, 2013
      • Bird poop comes off with a wipe on the jeans. problem solved!

        dave wrote on January 24th, 2013
  3. Mary wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • SO CUTE!!! Thanks for the video

      AFro wrote on January 17th, 2013
    • Reminds me of my favorite ad

      Paul in CT wrote on January 19th, 2013
  4. Wonderful! Sadly, I didn’t do some of those things much as a child. Probably do more of them now. But not enough. Will resolve to do more!

    Harry Mossman wrote on January 16th, 2013
  5. Awe I loved this one!!!! Another thing we should never stop doing is hugs! people need daily affection and physical contact for optimal health, true story:)

    Jannine Murray wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • +1 to the hugging!! Kids are so physically affectionate. One of the things I miss most about my daughter going to college is the frequent hugs I used to get from her. So many of us are seriously touch-deprived.

      Rhonda the Red wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • +1

      Susie wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • YES! Hurray for HUGS!!

      Cheryl A. Lowitzer wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • +2 Body contact is very important for children and adults. I think elderly people need it even more and they’re not as likely to get it. What’s the saying; twelve hugs a day for growth? I think it was fewer just for health.

      Great topic, Mark!

      gibson wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • and massages!

      Max Ungar wrote on January 16th, 2013
      • So true about massages! As a massage therapist, even my grand kids love the touch. While on vacation last week, with no massage table, my two grandsons (both aged 2) would lay in front of me and want their ‘ssage before bed.

        Donna aka Magic Fingers wrote on January 16th, 2013
      • So true! I once saw a documentary about a school in Sweden where the young children massaged eachother’s shoulders every morning while sitting in a ‘train’. Just the fact that they touched eachother brought the bullying down to pretty much zero. Because it’s harder to bully someone you touch that way.

        Brilliant idea, isn’t it? I wish more schools would pick that up.

        Wendy wrote on January 16th, 2013
        • That is a wonderful practice – and idea! :)

          Sarah wrote on January 19th, 2013
      • YES PLZ FOR A MASSAGE!! :)

        Sarah wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • Yes! Americans are not very touchy-feely. I am going to touch and hug more people more frequently. I just hugged my dog, does that count? Heh. He loved it. Air kisses – mwah! mwah!

      Pure Hapa wrote on January 16th, 2013
      • Come to the good ol’ rural southern USA.
        We’re big on lots of hugs, & with feeling!

        SouthernMommy wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • This is super interesting. I remember being in elementary school and we would “draw on each other’s backs” – especially during sit down times (like when our teacher would read to us). No one ever opted out because it felt so good. Even in high school, a friend and I used to run the clicker side of a pen up and down each other’s arms.

      Emily Mekeel wrote on January 16th, 2013
      • I loved (love) this game!

        Momto3 wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • +1

      Momto3 wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • Can i double +1 the hugs?

      Catherine wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • This is so true! I remember spending a week with my parents without the hubby, and by the end of the week I was starting to creep out my mom and sister with my long hugs… I was not ok with going so long without physical contact!

      Also, I would like to brag that I full-on jumped, with both feet, into a huge snowdrift the other day just for the fun of it :)

      Spiralicious wrote on January 17th, 2013
      • It is fun though isn’t it. We were out walking with the kids just after a huge rainstorm the other day and my wife and I had great fun initiating the puddle jump with our kids. The most laughter there has been in ages

        Darrell wrote on January 17th, 2013
  6. Never stop discovering and learning! It’s so important for personal growth. Just be curious like a kid everyday and you will be surprised by how much you still have to learn.

    Farida wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • You’re so right! Kids are never afraid to ask questions about anything and everything. Sometimes now if I’m in a conversation, watching a movie or show, etc. and don’t know something, I’ll quietly Google it or just let it go. There needs to be more intellectual curiosity and constant question asking.

      Emily wrote on January 16th, 2013
      • People are so afraid of looking stupid – we are so hyper-competitive in our society as well.

        Pure Hapa wrote on January 16th, 2013
  7. This is a really good post…kids get so much right by just being themselves!

    Ed wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • Until we send ’em off to school to be indoctrinated and downloaded with all the viruses of our consumerist society.

      Mike UK wrote on January 16th, 2013
      • That is why I keep mine at home.

        ponymama wrote on January 16th, 2013
        • Too right.

          Greg wrote on January 16th, 2013
      • Unfortunately, they don’t need to go to school to be “indoctrinated… with all the viruses of our consumerist society.” Society has its way of leaking into our lives in other ways. The power comes in not just trying to avoid it (poisons of society), but in learning how to challenge the status quo — and you know what? In some enlightened school communities, challenging the status quo is precisely what they do.

        Be careful about ignorant, lazy comments like this. Not all schools “indoctrinate” children in this negative kind of way. I know plenty of school communities and educators who work their arses off to keep the magic of discovery and inquiry going – and to help guide kids toward self-discovery. In fact, I have worked with many children who view school as a haven for them to be themselves and to feel safe, loved, honored, and celebrated… because they aren’t getting it at home.

        Perhaps your own experience with school has been unpleasant, but please be careful when making these kinds of statements. Ignorance and negativity does nothing to heal this world in which we live.

        Kamari wrote on January 16th, 2013
        • Agree to this post. Schools can be great places for kids to be themselves. And when I was a school you played hard on climbing and swinging equipment, maybe skinned your knees, got exposed to other kids ‘germs’ and went through the usual childhood illnesses. Anyway. as an adult I still prefer to get around in bare feet and I am certainly a dreamer – looking at clouds, birds, trees, I can do that for hours.

          suezan36 wrote on January 16th, 2013
        • Agree. I found challenging the status quo at school allowed me an awesome “bullshit filter” for life that has since served me well. Not that all of school was bullshit of course, a lot of it was great, but the benefit is that it exposes you to all types of people.

          Mia wrote on January 16th, 2013
        • Ok, off your soap box if you please Kamari

          How do you think kids “learn to challenge the status-quo”, while being told to stand up, sit down, shut up, don’t do this or that and my favourite…get in line and do as your told!

          They interact for most part of their day with their peers i.e. other kids, who are mostly reared on a “healthy” dose mainstream media and a false sense of reality and by parents who rely on the state to look after their darlings, istead of taking the personal resposibility on themselves.

          May I suggest you research John Taylor Gatto’s work, or just read his acceptance speech on “Why Schools don’t Educate”.

          PS: He was a top acclaimed teacher for 30 years in NY, so don’t take my “ignorant and lazy” advise and listen to his.

          Mike UK wrote on January 17th, 2013
        • @ Kamari, thank you, very well-articulated! :)

          @ Mike UK, wow, angry much? I think someone needs a hug! :)

          laluna wrote on January 17th, 2013
  8. That’s like seeing the world through kid’s eyes again!

    My 11 month old makes me realise daily how simple it is to be happy: warmth, sleep, food, drink, PLAY TIME and love… thats all he needs! There’s a lesson in that i’m sure

    Patrice wrote on January 16th, 2013
  9. I have no problem eating dirty things fresh from the garden(or picked up off the floor, dont judge me!), that being said though…if something is not organic or of questionable origin, it always gets srubbed down. I am not trying to get the dirt off, its the other stuff that concerns me

    Michelle wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • I don’t eat off the floor–and this coming from someone who ate dirt as a small child, sometimes even with a spoon! (My mom was horrified.) Alas, I grew up and eating dirt lost its appeal, as did eating off the floor, but munching on a garden tomato that’s still warm from the sun is a not-to-be-missed treat.

      Shary wrote on January 16th, 2013
      • My Daughters favorite saying is “God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt”.

        Cindy wrote on January 16th, 2013
        • I’m afraid of ringworm!

          Mary wrote on January 16th, 2013
        • Your daughter is awesome :)

          Mia wrote on January 16th, 2013
        • I still rarely wash veggies before I eat them. I’ve always thought that if tasting a dirt pie didn’t kill me as a kid, it won’t hurt me as an adult!

          I love picking fresh blackberries on the side of the road or at my parents’ house in the spring. And there’s nothing like eating a warm, fresh strawberry picked up out of the dirt.

          And don’t be afraid of ringworms. I had a few as a kid from playing with stray animals. I never even went to the doctor; my grandma just cut open a black walnut and smeared the juice on me and it dried up within a day. And considering how often I played in the dirt and with those animals, I only had ringworm once. I don’t think it’s very easy to get.

          Jenna wrote on January 18th, 2013
        • “Gods” don’t make dirt (soil); microbes, fungi, insects, worms, etc., do. There are no “gods”, well, except for Sun (stars).

          Chet1950 wrote on January 23rd, 2013
      • I’m a backpacker — throwing away food is unthinkable in that situation, so eating off the ground is often unavoidable. It’s a happy accident when food DOESN’T have dirt on it!

        Funny how squeamish people are about things that are far less “dirty” than stuff — like money and keyboards — that we handle everyday.

        michael wrote on January 16th, 2013
        • Mary, Ringworm, smingworm. We adopted a kitten with ringworm. Yes, I put her on internal meds because it was so bad. You don’t get ringworm (a fungus) from eating it. You get it by having an open wound that the spores get into. Out of the family of 5, I was the only one who got it – in one spot that the allergist tested me. Over the counter athletes foot cream cured it pretty quickly.

          CrazyCatLady wrote on January 16th, 2013
        • Back in the Boy Scouts we called it “camp salt”.

          captain mike wrote on January 16th, 2013
        • I remember the first time backpacking with my godson and his little brother, 6 and 4 yrs old at the time, stopping for a trail break and snack. Trail mix fell on the ground. “We can’t eat that, it’s dirty now! Mom says we’re not supposed to!” Response: “That’s all there is. Brush it off and eat it. Dirt don’t hurt. Quit throwing food on the ground.”

          On the other hand, they didn’t have a problem eating their own boogers.

          Vince wrote on January 17th, 2013
      • Amen to that. Sun-warmed tomato is only eclipsed by sun-warmed boysenberries off the vine and dropped into homemade full-fat vanilla ice cream, melting it perfectly as they go (a dessert I still remember from that 4th of July lo these many years ago).

        Joanne wrote on January 16th, 2013
        • Cartwheels! I wish I had kept doing them. I’m trying to re-learn in middle age.

          Lisa Bennett wrote on January 16th, 2013
      • Last week, at a bar, I dropped piece of garlic toast on the carpeted floor. (I know, toast not primal, wheat bad, …) I picked it up, looked at it, didn’t see anything strange, and ate it. My friends looked at each other like I was some strange alien creature, engaged in unthinkable behavior.

        Vince wrote on January 17th, 2013
    • I don’t know about your neighborhoods… but i know myself and my neighbors don’t spray pesticides all over our fruit trees… we just prune, water, and enjoy.

      Kevin wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • We are fortunate that we grow most of ours. I have fruit trees (apricots, plums, peaches walnut etc) and a huge vege garden. My kids (and myself of course) when they are outside playing just go and pick things themselves to eat. They pull carrots out of the ground brush them off a bit and eat them, beans, fruit you name it its fantastic.

      Darrell wrote on January 17th, 2013
  10. Use your bicycle and/or feet for transportation — not just for racing.

    Myra wrote on January 16th, 2013
  11. Really great. A simple and spontaneous lifestyle leads to a lot less stress and more fulfillment.

    Dan Garner wrote on January 16th, 2013
  12. My Dad was stationed on Crete when I was in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. The base had a beach, a bookstore, and playgrounds. It was a great place and time to be a kid. My favorite memory is sitting in a fig tree reading Nancy Drew and eating ripe figs plucked right off the branches. Also, my parents got me a pair of roller skates for Christmas. I skated up and down the hill we lived on while daydreaming about my future. I laid out in the sun and read comic books. I even took belly dancing classes. Close to sunset my mom and I would walk around the base, leaving the beach section to end of our walk.

    What about sitting on the curb under the streetlight talking to friends about everything and laughing until our stomachs hurt? Then groaning when our parents called us in?

    Carolyn wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • What a wonderful experience that must have been. Sounds idyllic.

      Mary wrote on January 16th, 2013
      • Amen, I would have given anything to have had that kid of childhood. But it is never too late eh? Maybe I will go find a playground to swing at this afternoon.

        mims wrote on January 17th, 2013
      • It was!!!

        Carolyn wrote on January 17th, 2013
  13. As a child of the late 60s/early 70s, I can relate to all of this. And it may just be me, but rediscovering it all has been one of the best things about being a grandparent.

    Like most parents, I was too busy actually raising my children, but as a grandparent I love getting on the floor to play cars or build a castle with blocks. We have grand games of tag throughout the house and back yard; this summer I taught my grandson to catch fireflies and put them in a mason jar with holes poked in the lid, and we ate cherry tomatoes and blackberries straight off the vine in Meema’s garden. We go to the park and climb the jungle gym and slide down the slide, sail boats in the kitchen sink, build forts in the living room out of cushions and blankets and color in coloring books.

    Frankly, I love it.

    Jan wrote on January 16th, 2013
  14. Tell stories! Kids tell the best stories without fear of judgement. As adults we may need to entertain each other with conversation and stories instead of TV and internet. Get back to the oral history of ourselves. Most of the time this will play into the laughing part of this post, however, it will help tap into other emotions that we lose touch with as we get older.

    Joanne wrote on January 16th, 2013
  15. This is great. Just the pickup I have needed for a Wednesday. Outside of providing great information on how to live a healthier, more nutritious life, your site has inspired me to take more risks in my career and just gives me an overall feeling of wellbeing for wanting to make some changes and get out of this rat race that so many of us live in. Working on it everyday.

    Michelle wrote on January 16th, 2013
  16. Love this! If I had to pick a favorite, I’d say it would be the last one :)

    Kelly wrote on January 16th, 2013
  17. I still enjoy looking at clouds and see what they turn into!!!

    Lucy wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • +1 Me too!

      Susie wrote on January 16th, 2013
  18. Great list. When I grew up (b. 1954) we drank water straight from gutters on the street. Most of the kids chewed tar from street-repair projects, little chunks they’d fine. It was supposed to whiten teeth. A friend of mine who grew up in St. Louis said on hot summer nights the DDT truck would drive slowly down the streets spraying mosquitos, and the resulting cool mist of bug-truck spray was heavenly to run through. Mark’s list is safer.

    Grant wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • Good Lord! I remember running behind the mosquito truck as a kid, too! That, and riding and jumping our bikes over everything — relishing that brief moment of “air time”. Helmet? What’s a helmet?

      My two little kids jump into bed with us in the morning and say, “Poppy, read a story about . . . ” and then they fill in the blank with their names, one of the cats, the dog, or mode of transportation. I then “read” (tell) them a story of the top of my head, the more ludicrous the better.

      Sometimes, I get lazy and say, “Once upon a time, a beautiful princess lived in a castle on the hill and she lived happily ever after. The END.”

      They howl in unison, “THAT’s NOT THE STORY!” We all have a good laugh and “read” the real story. Fun times . . . .

      Algboy wrote on January 16th, 2013
      • Yes…riding a bike without a helmet and riding just for fun, not for “exercise! Rollar skating and going just fast enough in the summer for the moving air to cool you off….I grew up in Phoenix and that is how I spent many a summer’s day

        Kara wrote on January 16th, 2013
  19. I still love jumping in puddles after a warm summer rain. So I don’t look too silly in my neighbors, I introduced my grandchildren to this activity, as they thought they weren’t allowed to do this…sad, but true. Everytime I take them, they always respond that this is the best day ever!! We race each other to the next puddle to see who can make the biggest splash.

    Susie wrote on January 16th, 2013
  20. Just reading this confirms that I never really grew up :)

    anna wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • +1

      Madama Butterfry wrote on January 16th, 2013
  21. I’ve been trying to practice the ‘let go of grudges’ one… which is the keys to being happy. Still need lots and lots of practice.

    As I’ve gotten older, the one thing that has held me back from ‘pushing limits’ and ‘moving spontaneously’ is the fear of injury! I’ve seen bad things happen to others and have some close calls of my own… AND when injured I’ve noticed that it’s taking a lot longer to recover than before… not sure what to do about this part… as they say, Father Time is undefeated!

    bjjcaveman wrote on January 16th, 2013
  22. An absolutely wonderful post! Thanks you.
    Don’t know why I’ve censored myself.

    Denise Levin wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • I think that is the word that best describes it. Somewhere along our path of adulthood we began censoring ourself. The reason I am sure a vast and deep. What a wonderful study that would be- when and why did we begin to censor ourselves. I have strong theories.

      Koel wrote on January 16th, 2013
  23. Absolutely love this post! This is the key to happiness!

    Shirley wrote on January 16th, 2013
  24. Go hug some trees! That’s a pleasure I rediscovered a few years ago. It reminds me of the time I used to hug and talk to my stuffed animals, with the added bonus of actually connecting with another living thing. I now “have” a few favourite trees in closeby woods where I run/hike/walk and whenever I pass by one of “my” trees I make sure to stop for a hug and a chat! When I’m upset, one of them will turn into a confident. It really is a great healing/connecting/grounding experience! It may sound silly, but try it anyway!

    Christine wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • I do this too!! =) I also have my favorites.

      All around great post. Reminds me of some really happy moments in my childhood. Time to rediscover some of those simple pleasures!

      Happy Paleo Girl wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • I have always felt trees are very wise, and love hugging them as well!!

      I am a big believer in colouring books no matter what age, its simple and creative!

      melissa wrote on January 16th, 2013
      • So pleased to hear that I am not the only one! My friends think I’m being very kind when I sit down and colour with their small children. Little do they know that I’m enjoying it more than the kids!

        Karen wrote on January 16th, 2013
  25. Squat! Look at any child under 3 and they will do a perfect squat when picking something up off the floor. We’re made to squat and should have never gotten used to chairs!

    Frances wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • I’m 72 and relearnt to squat when I travelled in China in my 50s and 60s

      A wonderful way to pick up something from the ground.

      If you must bend down then stick out one leg – like a golfer will when picking up a ball.

      Walking in a squat position and climbing stairs that way is a wonderful exercise; and it’s fun too.

      Victor wrote on January 16th, 2013
  26. Got up early to jump around and roll repeatedly down the Venice beach berms….while laughing hysterically….guess I’m doin something right! haha

    Aimee wrote on January 16th, 2013
  27. My two-year-old constantly reminds me to stop being such an adult! I love your point about climbing–we go to the playground, and climbing the equipment is a lot of fun. The vast majority of parents sit on the benches and watch . . . they don’t remember what they’re missing!

    Liz wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • Us too! I can’t get over how many parents just sit on the benches and watch (or text on their phones!) When we take our 5-year old to the playground, we PLAY! You can do pullups, climbing, sprints, pushups, digging in the dirt and sand.. and running up the slides, my son’s favorite :)

      mars wrote on January 16th, 2013
      • Running up slides is awesome. And don’t forget the swings 😀

        Liz wrote on January 16th, 2013
      • YES! I was the only crazy mom who actually played with my son at the playground. Everyone else sat and looked out of it. I tried not to judge though…raising children is a lonely, isolating experience and most of those moms were most likely depressed.

        mims wrote on January 17th, 2013
  28. Great Post! Have a great quote thats fitting here.

    “We don’t stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing!”

    Tommy wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • Great quote Tommy, thanks for that!!

      Happy Paleo Girl wrote on January 16th, 2013
  29. We make forts with our 5-year old regularly! Currently now in winter, we make forts inside with blankets, sheets, chairs etc and hide out on the floor. Forces us adults to get more “floor time” (as Mark pointed out in the last Weekend Link Love) and it just makes us feel like kids. When it’s warmer we make forts in the backyard under our huge lemon tree. So fun!

    mars wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • Ahh I loved making forts when I was younger!! My brother and I would spend all day building them, and be so excited to sleep there at night.

      Alyssa wrote on January 16th, 2013
  30. Good timing on the weather one! We’ve been having crummy weather this week, and instead of enjoying the beauty of a cool misty day, I’ve been resenting it. However, Vibrams are definitely not great shoes to wear when it’s wet! Proper rain gear is definitely key to enjoying even ‘bad’ weather.

    Another thing we should’ve never stopped doing is asking questions! Kids always ask about everything, but as we grow up, we censor ourselves more for fear that it’s a dumb question.

    Alyssa wrote on January 16th, 2013
  31. Use your imagination I remember sitting on a small area rug with my 2 nieces (7, 9) and 2 nephews (6, 4) imagining we were on a small boat and had to fish for food, get our feet out of the water because one of us saw a shark and a bunch of other things. I relax just thinking about those times. The wonderful things is now that they are 27, 25, 24, 22 they remember it with laughter. I am moving back closer to them so I can enjoy making more wonderful memories with them. Especially since my niece has 2 little ones.

    DeeRose wrote on January 16th, 2013
  32. Mark, thank you for a wonderful post! I never use to be a worrier. When you are young you feel invincible! I was fearless but not wreckless. I’d like to get a bit of that bravery back. Fear holds you back from so many things. So today I’ll try to be less fearful. What’s the worst that can happen?

    Mary Richards wrote on January 16th, 2013
  33. i just loved every point – some i follow, some i haven’t in a while, some i have been told off by parents for encouraging their kids!!… brilliant – worth printing as a reminder!…. thanks

    lisa wrote on January 16th, 2013
  34. Great post! We should still daydream! The stories and fantasies of my childhood helped me made the day so much more interesting and helped open up a world of possibilities. Never to old to play make believe once in a while.

    Crawford Miller wrote on January 16th, 2013
  35. Some favorite childhood activities…Running through the sprinklers, riding cardboard down the steep hills in the neighborhood, building forts, jumping up and down the curbs in my roller skates so as not to interrupt my speed going down many blocks in the neighborhood, pretending we were a singing group, climbing the rocky point at the beach, napping on the beach and waking up to play in the waves…endless fun.

    Melissa wrote on January 16th, 2013
  36. Play games…Yes! For many reason, having kids was the best thing that ever happened to me. I look forward to the snow so we can go sledding, I play in the sand at the beach (getting sand in my bathing suit!), and worry less about being proper. Enjoying life, stressing less. No one has ever been on their death bed saying “I wish I would have been more proper and uptight” :)

    Sandra wrote on January 16th, 2013
  37. My siblings and I would always make “Rain Stew” after it rained. We’d leave a bucket outside to fill with water and then go out and add the “ingredients” – dirt, rocks, grass, flowers, and anything else we could find. It’s one of my favorite memories growing up and I can’t wait to make a good batch of Rain Stew with my son.

    Thanks for reminding us to never grow up!

    Emily wrote on January 16th, 2013
    • +1 we do that too!

      mars wrote on January 16th, 2013
  38. Great post! Upon reading the list, I find that I still do some (if not most) of these things. One of my biggest joys is going for a long run in the rain, splashing in every puddle, getting soaking wet. People driving by me must think I’m absolutely crazy, but hopefully the smile on my face and how much I’m enjoying the rain, the run, and being outside.

    Ryan G wrote on January 16th, 2013

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