Peter Pan

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I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for ways to justify doing what I want to do versus what I should do.  And I always make up reasons for why certain days should be deemed “special occasion days” (days that are dedicated to doing whatever the hell I want).

Here are a few examples of circumstances that will cause me to believe that I deserve a self imposed holiday…

a) It’s cloudy, rainy or snowy outside.

b) I’ve been prevented from getting a good night’s sleep the night before.

c) I’ve accomplished something that I didn’t want to do (ie. written a term paper)

d) I’m in a bad mood.

e) I’m in a good mood.

f) I have a headache.

g) Any day the weather is particularly delightful.

h) When I hear Christmas music on the radio for the first time.

i) A movie is released based on a book series that I have devoted my life to.

j) Any time I get caught breaking the law (i.e. a parking ticket).

There are more circumstances that may come about but when these things happen I feel entitled to something a little special, a treat if you will. Sometimes it’s to make me feel better, other times it’s to celebrate how great I feel.

This is my way of living out that childhood fantasy of what it’s like to be an adult. The one I swore I would live out in a fit of childish fury back in 1985 on a day that I didn’t get my way. It’s the fantasy I clung to as I packed my most prized possessions in my snoopy suitcase and ran away… down the street… until I got bored and cold and realized that my neighbor’s tree wasn’t as comfortable as I had envisioned. The fantasy I threw in my parents face when I walked back through the door to see them wearing their “We knew you would come back” smirk.

WHEN I GROW UP I’M GOING TO DO WHATEVER I WANT… AND NOBODY CAN STOP ME!

That’s the one I still cling to even though it’s become blatantly clear that I’ve been tricked somehow because adulthood hasn’t really panned out the way I had planned.

Today was one of those days.  It is classified under circumstance (b) lack of sleep. I needed to have a special occasion day to make up for my inability to sleep through the night the previous three nights due to demands made by my toddler.

My options are limited so I usually do what I want in the form of sabotaging any healthy habits I may have acquired. But today, I went old school instead and ran away…

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Only this time I didn’t pack my snoopy suitcase and try to live in a tree.

I didn’t really want to go for a run. I was tired but I knew that once I got out and started moving I would feel better. The first mile is always the hardest for me. I feel like I’m running on wooden legs until finally the endorphins kick in and I find my stride.

As I ran along minding my own business I saw an old man come toward me on roller blades. He looked familiar and then I realized that he’s my unspoken friend that I always wave and smile at when I pass him on the path. He’s usually walking but apparently he decided to spice things up a bit by upgrading to roller blades. He has to be at least 80 and the first time we passed each other he gave me a thumbs up and a big grin. The second time he blew me a kiss. If any other person had done that I would have been thoroughly creeped out but this guy was just living it up and just couldn’t contain himself. When you run into someone like that you can’t help but get caught up in their enthusiasm.

When I ran into him on that running path today I got what I was looking for, something special in the midst of an ordinary day. A living replica of how you should live in the form of an overly flirtatious old man who refuses to stop doing whatever the hell he wants… a real life Peter Pan.

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