Recently, it seemed The Universe was hell bent on reminding me of the importance of staying connected to my youth.
While visiting my parents in Florida, I was invited with them to a fancy shmancy Palm Beach dinner. The hostess was divine, but her husband stole my heart! He embodied both the wisdom of his 92 years on the planet and the mischievous innocence of a twelve-year-old. We took a liking to each other and I was summoned to sit beside him. Throughout the night, while cursing like a sailor, he talked about life's most important lessons, mainly not to take anything too seriously. And, as I was leaving, he winked at me and said, "We're the same, kid.” I pray I am anything like this man, as he’s my new idol.
A few days later, I learned that someone very dear to me has Alzheimer's. It’s tragic and ironic that the smartest man I have ever known should slowly be losing his mind—but divine comedy is a topic for another post.
Friends I’ve told have asked what changes I've noticed. One in particular actually tickles my heart: he has developed a new kindness and fascination with animals and children. As I watch him returning to the light and softening back into the purity of a child, I am reminded that the more in touch I am with my own innocence, the closer I am to my “God” too.
As luck would have it, I had a ticket to Uruguay to meet a best friend for much needed time away. This was my very first visit to South America and I was forewarned about the excessive drinking, eating and general debauchery. I put my double Capricorn with serious control issues aside and summoned my inner youth. I said “Yes!” to everything (except to a kiss from the most beautiful green-eyed man…a regrettable exception). I danced until dawn and laughed with my friend until we cried or peed. And never in all my life have I been so happy.
Though these experiences ranged from exciting to distressing, I’ve realized in retrospect that they were all life-affirming. And I emerged armed with some secrets to staying young, which I will keep with me and remember for years to come:
1. Do something mischievous every day.
2. Just say “Yes!” sometimes and throw caution to the wind.
3. In the end, there is only innocence.