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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    growing up.. rambling

    There was an article in our newspaper this morning, about growing up, or rather, about being a "grown-up". It featured first a guy in his 40s, single and childless, who rock climbs, base jumps, skateboards and skis, and who (handily) has "I don't want to grow up" tattooed on his ankle. Then they had talked to a psychologist who said that this was a growing trend, that people want to stay/feel "young" for as long as possible, and they no longer want to be "grown-up" and boring, unlike teenagers earlier who longed to grow up and attain all the privileges of adults. And he talked about how todays focus on the body has taken over for earlier focus on the soul.

    I found this pretty irritating, to tell the truth, and thought-provoking. I didn't like the implication that this guy filling his life with his favourite activities was so that he could feel "young" and have an attractive body, I'm sure he does them because it gives him immense joy and fulfillment (of the soul!), and because all his friends are there. He had a job so he pays taxes, and as far as I'm concerned he is being as responsible an adult as anyone could ask for. Because isn't that what being an adult is about? Taking responsibility, for your own life, your own choices, and the people around you? Having kids magically forces a lot of people to grow up, myself included, but actively choosing to not have children is just as responsible an action. Being an adult should have something to do with accepting that you play a role in society and participating and giving something back, and taking the consequences of your actions and choices, but it shouldn't have anything to do with how you spend your free time. Most "extreme sports" aren't that extreme these days - with a possible exception for base jumping - and I don't see why, say bowling or playing bridge should somehow be a more acceptable choice for an adult than rock climbing or skiing. People that do true extreme sports, with a lot of risk, do have to re-evaluate this when they have kids or a spouse, but they really are a tiny minority.

    I'm rambling, I know. But being an adult doesn't have to have anything at all to do with being able to invite 4 couples to dinner and have matching silverware and decent curtains, being "respectable" ie. "boring", and hasn't been for decades. Todays society accepts rockabillies with pointy shoes or tutu-toting divas at 60. ---oops, gotta go, my responsible adult dh has made dinner...
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,394
    That idea kind of infuriates me, too. I want to stay as young as possible, forever. Not just in my body, but in my mind, also. Boring is, well, boring. If people don't like my lifestyle, well, so be it. I've always had a responsible job, blah, blah, blah.
    This reminds me of the people who thought I was not acting "grown up" because 1) I got up at 4:30 AM and taught classes at the health club before my regular job, leaving the child care/bringing to daycare up to DH and 2) My DH and I went out as a couple, with or without friends, almost every Saturday night, even when the kids were babies. It seemed like "adults" only should want to be with their kids when they work outside the home during the week.
    Yeah, well those people are all divorced and I'm still married.
    Like the song says, I think I'll die, before I get old.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    1,372
    Has nothing to do with "growing up". In our overpopulated world, I'd say not having kids is the responsible thing to do! I also feel that 'coupling' has been brainwashed into us. I've always felt that way, and still feel that way, even though I have an SO.
    We don't need to couple or have kids to be grown up or responsible. I like my life, I am active, I am busy, I have a job, I pay my taxes, I help out friends when I can...
    I respect people with spouses (and ex-spouses) and children... but I don't think they are grown up and I'm not.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
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    yeah, that was what I was thinking - doing what you love or being "unconventional" (which is a pretty meaningless term nowadays) has nothing to do with being young or not grown-up. Young doesn't equate free, attractive, daring, and old doesn't equate the opposite. Young is just young. I'm not young anymore, I'm not old, I'm an adult. I'm also not a girl, I'm a grown woman, and there's nothing inherently boring or staid in that. And there's certainly nothing negative or boring about being grown-up - when life hits you a hard one, it's the grown-ups around you you need, who will take care of you, comfort you and pick up the pieces.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
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    5,203
    Yep. I spent most of my 20s worrying about appearing like a "grown woman" to the outside world. Really, all I wanted to do was ride my bike, but I worried so much that doing so would not be an "acceptable thing for a grown woman to do." HA!

    So in my 30s, I figured out that I had been wrong and started riding my bike again. I started riding to work. I even declined a good, professional job because they looked at me askew when I asked about changing facilities and bicycle parking. Granted, I had another offer the same week so snubbing the first offer was easier to do. The job I took had a commuter shower and bike racks in the lobby, however. No brainer.

    I chose a long time ago not to have children. I, too, think that it's the unselfish thing to do. Many people, however, feel that my choice is extremely selfish. I've given up trying to explain to them that because they have chosen to have 5 kids (an ex friend, for example), I feel that it is irresponsible for me to have any. I could have adopted, I suppose, but I was not interested enough in the whole endeavor to pursue that option.

    I'm 43, I ride my bike, I do all sorts of goofy things, I pay my taxes, I am well-educated and have a good job, and I make a difference in the world. Frankly, I'd rather spend my time with older folks than with children. I believe alot of older folks become forgotten. I really enjoy visiting with them and sharing their stories with them. That's where I choose to devote my energies. That and on my bike and in my community.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Phillipston, MA
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    445
    How sad that this may be a trend - that there are those that have found themselves amongst a narrowly defined set of rules or limited thinking. Life is for living and all options are on the table. It's just another opinion out there in the world. Fortunately and as expected, this does not appear to be a prevalent one as expressed by the responses thus far. Nor of the people who are in my life.

    Quote Originally Posted by tulip View Post
    YI believe alot of older folks become forgotten. I really enjoy visiting with them and sharing their stories with them. That's where I choose to devote my energies.
    I love this statement!!! How true that a very valuable part of our community sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. Their stories are so important.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
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    I found this pretty irritating, to tell the truth, and thought-provoking. I didn't like the implication that this guy filling his life with his favourite activities was so that he could feel "young" and have an attractive body, I'm sure he does them because it gives him immense joy and fulfillment (of the soul!), and because all his friends are there. He had a job so he pays taxes, and as far as I'm concerned he is being as responsible an adult as anyone could ask for. Because isn't that what being an adult is about? Taking responsibility, for your own life, your own choices, and the people around you? Having kids magically forces a lot of people to grow up, myself included, but actively choosing to not have children is just as responsible an action. Being an adult should have something to do with accepting that you play a role in society and participating and giving something back, and taking the consequences of your actions and choices, but it shouldn't have anything to do with how you spend your free time.
    I would agree all that is said. I think the news article was written wrongly with a certain slant that makes those without childcare, eldercare responsibilities etc. as "less" responsible.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    San Diego, CA
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    See, I'm thinking the responsible thing to do is to buy my 12-year-old her own road bike so we can go riding together. That way I don't miss my workouts. I'll be healthier and live longer to be a better mother to her. And we'll bond over cycling.

    I don't see how staying healthy and vital and active is at all irresponsible, especially if one has kids, but either way, a healthy, vital population is just better for the community as a whole all the way around. There are no downsides to living an active life.

    lph, I think you should write a letter to the editor of that paper and voice what you've voiced here.

    Roxy
    Getting in touch with my inner try-athlete.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    1,372
    Quote Originally Posted by lph View Post
    There was an article in our newspaper this morning, about growing up, or rather, about being a "grown-up".
    I've never written to the editor of a newspaper, but have you thought about it?

    Also, I do like his tattoo, it's tongue in cheek and talks about a lifestyle (to me) not really about being grown up.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    There was a time when I lived in a small-ish town but occasionally had to work in the city. For a long time, I liked getting stuck in rush hour traffic because it made me feel grown up.

    Looking back on it now, I think that says it all.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    the dry side
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    Personally knowing a lot of guys like this, (climbers, ski bums, raft guides etc) they are commitment phobes, immature and self centered, and place the adrenaline need pretty high up on the list. They DO need to grow up. Anyone remember the Peter Pan syndrome?

    The comment on the focus on the body... that's lame imsho. if they would "study" these guys at all, it's all about the rush, the lack of being tied down, the rush of adrenaline and the toy collection, not a youthful body.
    Last edited by Irulan; 01-28-2011 at 11:36 AM.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    WA State
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    So what.... if someone doesn't want to conform to another person's idea of what it means to be "grown up"... You don't have to like everyone - let them be little boys/girls forever if they want to be.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Tustin, CA
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    Funny... just recently my friends and I were sitting around and talking about the fact kids, really young adults, are refusing to grow up and become responsible. Really its not so attractive to find 40 year old people who want to act and be like 18 year olds. It's down right creepy if you ask me.

    I think since the 80's when parents wanted to be hip themselves and much rather be their kids friends than parents, we have allowed kids to be indulged much too much - anything than wanted they got; nothing was earned; every desire was granted; nothing was appreciated. Now we have several generations of adults who don't know how to deny themselves and when they dont get what they want, become depressed and angry about it just like any 2 year old. Think about it? Is that really desirable and attractive?.

    Hey I'm 60 - I act young at times but with that sense of playfulness also comes with a big sense of responsibilty and being an adult. BTW any married person with young children who engages in high risk sports is to me, an idiot. That person thinks so little of his/her family that for a little bit of pleasure they are willing to risk the families viability. Stupid, just stupid.
    Last edited by bcipam; 01-28-2011 at 11:47 AM.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Uncanny Valley
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    Probably related to what Irulan said is an unfolding scandal in Volusia County (Daytona Beach) Beach Patrol, where male career lifeguards in their 30s and 40s preyed on female lifeguards and sunbathers in their late teens, without regard for whether they were work subordinates, or legally of age to consent.

    There is a phenomenon, no doubt, but I'm not sure from what lph said that her paper's article describes it.

    Just to be devil's advocate, again, that male immaturity isn't necessarily victimless.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  15. #15
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    the dry side
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eden View Post
    So what.... if someone doesn't want to conform to another person's idea of what it means to be "grown up"... You don't have to like everyone - let them be little boys/girls forever if they want to be.
    It's only a problem if you are in a relationship with them and have unrealistic expectations of wanting them to change and they don't want to.
    Last edited by Irulan; 01-28-2011 at 03:29 PM.
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