I went to the market the other day and when I was pushing the cart of bagged groceries to my car I decided to have some fun by jumping on board. I didn’t feel too self-conscious about not acting my age because there weren’t a lot of people around. It’s a good thing there weren’t, because I learned that if you don’t properly balance the weight of the groceries the cart will not maintain a straight trajectory.
Since the heaviest items were on the right side of the cart, it kept veering off in that direction. However, I would not be deterred by this minor inconvenience brought on by the laws of physics. I was determined to have my joy ride, so I just kept hopping off to correct its path.
When I arrived at my car, I was proud of myself for not acting my age. It reminded me of a story my grandma told me when she was in her eighties and her bowling team was on a road trip to a tournament in another city. When they went past a playground with one of those spiral slides, she insisted the driver pull over.
She had never slid down one of those before, probably because they hadn’t been invented yet when she was a wee thing. Yet, here she was and there the slide was, and she was intent on remedying that situation. Since my grandma was pretty bossy, of course she got her way.
In fact, after applying some fun-loving peer pressure on the other passengers, she talked them into joining her in fulfilling her life-long dream of sliding down a spiral slide. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t a life-long dream. Still, it meant a lot to her because it was the highlight of her trip. I don’t even remember if she told me whether her bowling team won or not, because the slide mattered more.
She passed away quite a few years ago in her nineties and I love that she never saw herself as elderly. Her birthday was this week and I feel like I honored her by following in her footsteps of not acting my age. In fact, now I am planning to honor her every time I go to the market.
Its not just about having fun, though. I also want to see if I can improve my trajectory. Of course, I will need to factor in the differences between carts, and try not to get one with a bum wheel, but I am not afraid of those challenges. Nor am I afraid of what people will think when they see me joy riding though the parking lot. The only thing I am afraid of is acting too old to have some free-spirited fun!