“Children are joyful and treat each day as a miracle—in part because they are continually surprised.
Each day, they hear a new word or listen to a new song or learn about a new animal. It’s their first time visiting that restaurant or jumping in that pool or riding that rollercoaster. The world is continually unfolding before them.
How can you introduce more surprise into your life as an adult? How can you renew your sense of childlike wonder?”
How, at 46, do I introduce wonder and surprise? That’s a tough one.
Going biking in new places brings about some surprise and wonder, as the weather may change, or I might show up right when a steam train is leaving the station, and I can try to “race it.” Those small, spontaneous moments, I guess.
Running is always a surprise, too, because I sort of never know how the body will feel. Most days it can be hard to get out the door (especially with the heat wave we have here on the east coast), but then 1.8 miles into the run everything feels great, or I see a breathtaking sunset, or I come across a dog who loves racing me from the other side of the fence.
In part I think it’s just getting out and doing something, throwing myself into the world and seeing what happens. That’s looked different in the past few years due to COVID, which has meant a lot of missed opportunities to meet new people, so lately it’s been about the experiences, and the scenery.
I always thought of these people as having the “audacity to dream,” and how I loved being around these folks, something I’ve been lacking in recent years given the pandemic and all.
The dreams have withered though. Maybe it’s because I’m 46, over a decade since I got rid of all my stuff and started riding across the US with my laptop, and crashed on the couches of my friends.
Money is hard to make, free time is scant. The time for dreaming is hard to come by, so maybe the dreams get smaller. I’ve heard more than once in the past few years, “wow, I wish I could just have health care,” or something similar. Like, that’s a dream for some people in America, which is fucking gross.