Although I’m not old, having a teen has a way of making you feel old—and worn out. It’s what happens when you’re parenting a person who’s pretty sure you’re from the President Lincoln-era. And we sort of are… My daughter was born a few years before the iPhone. Think about that.
But to them, their concept of time, you just can’t hang. You can’t quite dance right, or talk about anything remotely entertainment-based, and heaven forbid you find the same leading guy attractive. Ew! You got with her dad, remember?
Yeah, it has a way to kill a few metaphorical years off your lifeline. But fortunately, I’ve found ways to remain youthful, rise from the ashes that she’s burned down with her eye-rolls, teeth-sucking and other teen-nuisance ways.
1. Listen to music all the time. Music is your ally and best support. Never, ever stop listening to your favorite tunes and your teens’ music, too. You’ll be surprised to find the similarities.
2. Love completely and profoundly. It seems that as we get older, and reality settles in, we lose a lot of the magic that’s simply about love. Loving life, the new day, sun and stars. We start to restrain our days with work, bills and the weight of the material in our lives. Forgetting how much less we had when younger, and how much happier we were for it.
3. Throw out the crap. Speaking of less, throw out anything that wears you down. I had a suit in my closet that made me feel old. It’s the reason I got it. When I was a young mom, looking for career opportunities, and still a part-time college student, I needed to wear something that’ll let me play the part of a working adult. My, how I hated that suit. Years later, as I got older and gained more confidence, I realized it was best to be myself—colors and all—to interviews. The suit slowly settled to the back of my closet, and when I got rid of it, made way for fashion that really defined the joyful, still-young me.
4. Laughing—all the time, and as much as possible and for no reason. This is my favorite, because it requires nothing, yet its effects are huge. The comedy category on Netflix is your friend for this one, and so are amazing friends and family, and most importantly—your kids. Download a few apps with knock-knock and “Your Momma” jokes, and let the good times roll.
5. Do silly, goofy things. Yes, sometimes being silly has benefits. I once had a writing deadline and was completely stuck. My daughter left her crayons nearby, and I was inspired to start scribbling notes on a blank piece of paper. Before, I knew it, I had written my piece! Did I look ridiculous? Of course, I wrote an outline with a red crayon for goodness’ sake. But I did the work, which was a win in my book.
These are just a few ideas, but if you have kids around, there’s your source of inspiration right there. If you don’t however, remember you once were actually one of them. They say it’s never too late to have a happy childhood, so I say we all go ahead and dance wrong, talk about Taylor Swifts and One Direction, because married or not or old—we all still got it.