Our generation (everyone who’s around 30 something now) has received a lot of criticism from our parents’ generation as being “immature.” Almost as if, though we’re in our late 20s and early-to-mid 30s, we are arrested adolescents who don’t want to “grow up” in the same way their generation did.
Honestly I remember, as a kid, everyone I knew who was “30” seemed very grown-up, very adult, very boring, and OLD.
Well I’m over 30 now. I do feel a bit old as I have, honestly said “kids these days” recently, and my body doesn’t like the idea of some things as much as it used to (I have thought, “Oh lord my knees won’t be doing THAT” recently as well). However I have to point out, I see nothing wrong with being a member of the Toy-R-Us generation. I’m a Toy-R-Us kid. I don’t wanna grow up.
I have a grown-up job and grown-up responsibilities, but the day I stop finding the joy in playing with toys, board games, and old-school video games is the day a part of me dies. If older generations heap criticism on us for enjoying reading Wolverine instead of The Washington Post I say it’s their loss.
Which brings us to the topic of the day. Recently, on a whim, my lovely RevPub counterpart and I were walking around a park at night. It was a park I visited as a kid, and I was reminiscing on the dodgy playground that used to be on the grounds. Near the end of the trek, I spotted landmarks I remembered; a bell, a café (that was just a bathroom at the time), and a picnic area. I then discovered the old playground was long gone, replaced with a NEW one. A new one that had features big enough for adults. We spent the next 45 minutes or so running around on the playground structures, sliding down the big tube-slide, traversing the awesome twisty slide, and the monkey bars. Afterward we ran over to the swings and swung for another few minutes (I’m so lame I got a bit nauseous and it was at this point I thought “I used to jump off while swinging! Oy my knees wouldn’t take that now…”)
After the run around on the playground we both agreed, there NEEDS to be playgrounds for adults. Playgrounds where NO kids are allowed (so you don’t have to worry about knocking over tiny people while running like crazy or watching your language), rides big and high enough for adults, and open all hours.
Imagine a busy day at work, but taking a break on lunch to have a go on an adult-sized merry-go-round or teeter totter. We loved them as kids, had great fun, got all our frustrations out, and got exercise. Part of adult frustration is no exercise. The secret to exercising is finding an activity that’s FUN. If it’s not fun, you won’t keep doing it. I haven’t had as much fun exercising as I did playing on the playground and could see doing that every day if I could!
It would provide adults with a healthy activity, relieve stress, and help us forget the troubles a bit. You can’t be angry on a swing set!
So come on playground/park industry. Let’s make this happen. I think everyone I know who is my age would spend time on an adult playground, and we can’t be the only ones.
And fellow adults, let’s let go a bit and enjoy a go on the slide. We loved them then, and I think a part of us will ALWAYS love them. Never forget the responsibilities of being an adult, but also never forget the pure, carefree, joy of being a kid. I think finding a medium between the two is the secret to being truly happy.