Yesterday, we rode our Electra Amsterdams into Beaurepaire Village, the small town adjacent to ours and about 8 klicks away. We got caught in the rain, and wearing only shorts and a t-shirt, I was quickly soaked. My thoughts immediately turned to seeking shelter and dry clothes, concerned about getting chilled and sick. I thought about all the stuff I have to do this week, the business meetings and client presentations. “Shit, I really can’t afford to get sick” I grumbled to myself as I rode in the rain, water from the tires spraying onto my legs and back despite the fenders on the bike. And it suddenly struck me how there had been a time when I would have reveled in the wetness and its cool soaking on a warm summer day, instead of worrying about getting sick. That surely must be a definitive sign of impending old age. I like to joke around that a sure sign is when the number of hospital cards in your wallet outnumber the credit cards!
What the Hell ever happened to having fun? Eating is all about counting calories or watching the refined carbs. Exercise requires Lycra shorts and helmets, not to mention iPhone apps to track distance, time, speed, heart-rate, etc., like some elite athlete preparing for competition. “Eat six small meals a day to keep from getting hungry” the food gurus admonish us….”we must control that blood sugar”. “No more than two drinks a day” or the benefits of alcohol become outweighed by the risks. Cigars? Fuggedaboutit! Fly-fishing? Let me call the fishing guide to take us to the “best’ places…Heaven forbid we should go by ourselves and just explore.
A hot theme in Educational Psychology today is “Trustful Parenting”. We’ve noticed that an entire generation of kids have no clue how to organize themselves to have fun; parents and schools have managed to infantalize them by organizing every activity and moment of their time. Pickup games are reserved for the poor. The better-off teams need uniforms and coaches (while parents set a great example by coming to fisticuffs over whose kid is getting more play-time or arguing with the referees). Schools are so focused on teamwork that a whole generation of kids can hardly work alone. They get to the workplace and while they make excellent drones, there’s hardly a leader among them.
It’s time to get back to having fun, I say! real fun. Debauchery and excess. Butter. Good chewy white bread. Tasty, squishy fruit that you slobber all over yourself. A good Havana. Pulse-raising risk. No more bicycle helmets!