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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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January 16, 2013

16 Things You Should Have Never Stopped Doing

By Mark Sisson
300 Comments

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.

Daydream.

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.

Read.

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.

Create.

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.

TAGS:  Aging

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300 Comments on "16 Things You Should Have Never Stopped Doing"

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Rand
Rand
3 years 8 months ago

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.”

Wayne Atwell
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Totaldoug
Totaldoug
3 years 8 months ago

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!

dave
dave
3 years 8 months ago

Bird poop comes off with a wipe on the jeans. problem solved!

Mary
Mary
3 years 8 months ago
AFro
AFro
3 years 8 months ago

SO CUTE!!! Thanks for the video

Paul in CT
Paul in CT
3 years 8 months ago
Harry Mossman
3 years 8 months ago

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!

Jannine Murray
3 years 8 months ago

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:)

Rhonda the Red
3 years 8 months ago

+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.

Susie
Susie
3 years 8 months ago

+1

Cheryl A. Lowitzer
3 years 8 months ago

YES! Hurray for HUGS!!

gibson
gibson
3 years 8 months ago

+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!

Max Ungar
3 years 8 months ago

and massages!

Donna aka Magic Fingers
Donna aka Magic Fingers
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Wendy
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Sarah
Sarah
3 years 8 months ago

That is a wonderful practice – and idea! 🙂

Sarah
Sarah
3 years 8 months ago

YES PLZ FOR A MASSAGE!! 🙂

Pure Hapa
Pure Hapa
3 years 8 months ago

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!

SouthernMommy
SouthernMommy
3 years 8 months ago

Come to the good ol’ rural southern USA.
We’re big on lots of hugs, & with feeling!

Emily Mekeel
Emily Mekeel
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Momto3
Momto3
3 years 8 months ago

I loved (love) this game!

Momto3
Momto3
3 years 8 months ago

+1

Catherine
Catherine
3 years 8 months ago

Can i double +1 the hugs?

Spiralicious
Spiralicious
3 years 8 months ago

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 🙂

Darrell
Darrell
3 years 8 months ago

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

Farida
Farida
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Emily
Emily
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Pure Hapa
Pure Hapa
3 years 8 months ago

People are so afraid of looking stupid – we are so hyper-competitive in our society as well.

Ed
3 years 8 months ago

This is a really good post…kids get so much right by just being themselves!

Mike UK
Mike UK
3 years 8 months ago

Until we send ’em off to school to be indoctrinated and downloaded with all the viruses of our consumerist society.

ponymama
ponymama
3 years 8 months ago

That is why I keep mine at home.

Greg
Greg
3 years 8 months ago

Too right.

Kamari
Kamari
3 years 8 months ago
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… Read more »
suezan36
suezan36
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Mia
Mia
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Mike UK
Mike UK
3 years 8 months ago
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… Read more »
laluna
laluna
3 years 8 months ago

@ Kamari, thank you, very well-articulated! 🙂

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

Patrice
3 years 8 months ago

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

Michelle
3 years 8 months ago

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

Shary
Shary
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Cindy
Cindy
3 years 8 months ago

My Daughters favorite saying is “God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt”.

Mary
Mary
3 years 8 months ago

I’m afraid of ringworm!

Mia
Mia
3 years 8 months ago

Your daughter is awesome 🙂

Jenna
Jenna
3 years 8 months ago
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… Read more »
Chet1950
Chet1950
3 years 8 months ago

“Gods” don’t make dirt (soil); microbes, fungi, insects, worms, etc., do. There are no “gods”, well, except for Sun (stars).

michael
michael
3 years 8 months ago

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.

CrazyCatLady
CrazyCatLady
3 years 8 months ago

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.

captain mike
captain mike
3 years 8 months ago

Back in the Boy Scouts we called it “camp salt”.

Vince
Vince
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Joanne
Joanne
3 years 8 months ago

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).

Lisa Bennett
Lisa Bennett
3 years 8 months ago

Cartwheels! I wish I had kept doing them. I’m trying to re-learn in middle age.

Vince
Vince
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Kevin
Kevin
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Darrell
Darrell
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Myra
Myra
3 years 8 months ago

Use your bicycle and/or feet for transportation — not just for racing.

Dan Garner
3 years 8 months ago

Really great. A simple and spontaneous lifestyle leads to a lot less stress and more fulfillment.

Carolyn
Carolyn
3 years 8 months ago
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… Read more »
Mary
Mary
3 years 8 months ago

What a wonderful experience that must have been. Sounds idyllic.

mims
mims
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Carolyn
Carolyn
3 years 8 months ago

It was!!!

Jan
3 years 8 months ago
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,… Read more »
Joanne
Joanne
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Michelle
Michelle
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Kelly
3 years 8 months ago

Love this! If I had to pick a favorite, I’d say it would be the last one 🙂

Lucy
Lucy
3 years 8 months ago

I still enjoy looking at clouds and see what they turn into!!!

Susie
Susie
3 years 8 months ago

+1 Me too!

trackback

[…] 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 […]… Mark’s Daily Apple […]

Grant
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Algboy
Algboy
3 years 8 months ago
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… Read more »
Kara
Kara
3 years 8 months ago

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

Susie
Susie
3 years 8 months ago

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.

anna
anna
3 years 8 months ago

Just reading this confirms that I never really grew up 🙂

Madama Butterfry
Madama Butterfry
3 years 8 months ago

+1

trackback

[…] 16 Things You Should Have Never Stopped Doing from Mark’s Daily Apple […]

bjjcaveman
3 years 8 months ago

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!

Denise Levin
Denise Levin
3 years 8 months ago

An absolutely wonderful post! Thanks you.
Don’t know why I’ve censored myself.

Koel
Koel
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Shirley
3 years 8 months ago

Absolutely love this post! This is the key to happiness!

Christine
Christine
3 years 8 months ago

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!

Happy Paleo Girl
Happy Paleo Girl
3 years 8 months ago

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!

melissa
melissa
3 years 8 months ago

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!

Karen
Karen
3 years 8 months ago

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!

Frances
Frances
3 years 8 months ago

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!

Victor
Victor
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Aimee
Aimee
3 years 8 months ago

Got up early to jump around and roll repeatedly down the Venice beach berms….while laughing hysterically….guess I’m doin something right! haha

Liz
3 years 8 months ago

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!

mars
mars
3 years 8 months ago

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 🙂

Liz
3 years 8 months ago

Running up slides is awesome. And don’t forget the swings 😀

mims
mims
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Tommy
3 years 8 months ago

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!”

Happy Paleo Girl
Happy Paleo Girl
3 years 8 months ago

Great quote Tommy, thanks for that!!

mars
mars
3 years 8 months ago

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!

Alyssa
3 years 8 months ago

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
3 years 8 months ago

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.

DeeRose
DeeRose
3 years 8 months ago
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… Read more »
Mary Richards
3 years 8 months ago

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?

lisa
3 years 8 months ago

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

Crawford Miller
Crawford Miller
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Melissa
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Sandra
Sandra
3 years 8 months ago

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” 🙂

Emily
3 years 8 months ago

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!

mars
mars
3 years 8 months ago

+1 we do that too!

Ryan G
Ryan G
3 years 8 months ago

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.

Dianne
Dianne
3 years 8 months ago

Love this post! I love being outside!

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Sandy
Sandy
3 years 8 months ago

Fan-bleeping-tastic. THAT is so totally the way to live. Its do-able too. Thanks for pointing it out.

Davis
Davis
3 years 8 months ago

Living for the day! Not letting tomorrows events and worries get in the way of the fun and excitement of today. Each day is a new day.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 8 months ago

There is a line to balance. Lets not forgot the “The Ant and the Grasshopper” story.

Helga
Helga
3 years 8 months ago

Good point and great fable!

Rhonda the Red
3 years 8 months ago

This post and the comments that follow have just rejuvenated my day. All the way to work I moaned about how I was not enjoying my life, not playing, not finding the Primal Connection (though I loved the book). But all these fun reminders of the unfettered joy of childhood inspire me to try just one thing today — at least one fun, free, exuberant activity so I can remember that I’m not old and not done with joy. Thanks, everybody!!!

Paul Fredricks
3 years 8 months ago

Love this post. Glad to say I have never lost my inner child, and at 51 I still do all those things. My wife calls me the biggest kid on the block.

I have one to add: Tell the people that you love the most that you love them. And tell them every day!

Madama Butterfry
Madama Butterfry
3 years 8 months ago

My husband gets nervous when I say it to his face. : )

Jennifer
Jennifer
3 years 8 months ago

Try new things! Every year on my birthday, I decide on one new thing do learn/do/try. Last year it was knitting. That didn’t go so well. This year, I am learning to play the guitar.

Also, as someone said above, give and receive HUGS! Not only is it an instant mood-lifter, but it feels good too.

Christopher
3 years 8 months ago

Something I miss is regular visits to a local woodland. Always felt so at home climbing trees and jumping over streams and carving fallen sticks into spears. If there was a local woodland I know I’d likely still be frequenting that childlike frame of mind.
When the stream ran heavily, me and my friends would race twigs in it and see how far through the woods they could get!

Zach rusk
Zach rusk
3 years 8 months ago

Wear less clothing!

Emily
Emily
3 years 8 months ago

This post made me happy and optimistic. I needed the reminder of how carefree, fun, innocent, curious, and adventurous I used to be. Thank you!

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