Jump And Shout

After years of attending school music programs, I’ve noticed the level of the kid’s enthusiasm and the sheer volume of the program decreases in direct proportion to the age of the kids. The older the kids, the less the volume and, unfortunately, the less the outward enthusiasm – even if they’re excited to perform.

That’s really a shame. At what age do we decide it’s no longer cool to wear our emotions on our sleeve? When it’s no longer cool to lose ourselves in the moment and enjoy the experience simply for the experience?

The reality, as we all know, is there’s no one age when our inherent ability to simply enjoy life takes a beating, it’s a slow, gradual process. Interestingly, this inherent ability to enjoy life doesn’t affect everyone equally. We all know those people who have managed to slide through life comfortable in their own skin, comfortable with their own decisions and completely willing and able to let it all hang out. They’re the first ones to start singing at the campfire, the first ones to volunteer on the new committee and the first ones to say no, if they don’t feel like doing something.

Not coincidentally, at least I don’t think so these same folks tend to be very active people. They garden. They bike. They walk with their friends, family, or strangers. They turn house-hold tasks into high-energy, fun affairs and, when it’s time to sit down and relax, they sit down and relax – often with a glass of iced tea or water instead of an alcoholic beverage.

It’s precisely this activity (some might call it exercise) that I believe allows these folks to take life only as seriously as need be. They consciously recognize that each day is precious, even if it’s raining or 30 below zero, and they don’t worry too much about how that particular day matches up to their expectations for it. The day is what it is. Take it or leave it. Enjoy it or not. The decision is up to them?

I believe these types of people consciously choose to enjoy the moment or day and inherently view it as positive precisely because they are active. They have energy. They use their energy. They create more energy. And all that activity allows them to sit and relax at the end of the day or mid-afternoon, because they know they’ve earned a break.

With that in mind, we decided to dedicate this issue to active living – creating a lineup of stories that show the different ways parks and recreation can and does help people live a better life. I hope you enjoy this unusual approach and, as always, welcome your feedback.

Till next month,

Rodney J. Auth