Day 21 of Free to be YOUng: Be Silly Several Times a Day

If you want to feel young and be a Super-Ager, be silly several times a day.  Have a good laugh, create ways to enjoy your life if you want to stay vitally lively and feel years younger. I often do a silly dance on the way to the kitchen or make silly faces at myself in the mirror which is reported to keep facial muscles more elastic.

At least 5 days a week I watch a sitcom or romcom to lighten my mood.  I read comic strips in the newspaper. And most days I feel 23 or 43 years younger than chronological age. I have a friend a few years younger than me and she says that she consistently thinks of herself as 25 years old and feels that way.

Living with Laurie Pippenger for 38 years (She now lives in a L’Arche Group Home.) taught me a great deal about loving humor, compassionate teasing and just being silly. My Mosaic Down syndrome daughter has spent hours lightening me up and silly-ing me up! And of course, when she was a teenager I embarrassed her with my silliness. 

If there is something causing me distress, I will often make up a ditty to sing, a temporary mantra that gives me a boost of energy to get through a tough spot. Normally the songs are short lived and not worth remembering. Laurie hated my Norwegian ditty which she heard often.

We spent 9 dark winter seasons in Oslo, Norway. “Winter” there stretches from October to April or longer. To withstand the freezing temperatures and the too often frozen eyes and faces I met on the sidewalks, I would sing under my breath:  “Norwegians all smile in the summer.  They forget how to smile in the fall. They begin to remember in springtime and in winter they all look like, WELL, Norwegians all smile in the summer,” etc. This ditty with a happy tune worked for me. I would feel compassion for the non-smiling folks and remember that they would be happy and uplifted in spring.

As an aside: Sometimes I meet a very serious baby—more often male and I think, “Hey, he needs to be silly-ed up.”  Too often I painfully observe that baby boys are handled much more roughly than baby girls. I wonder are these sober faced baby boys looking so somber because they are waiting for the next roughing up session? If so, that isn’t funny.  I believe that a male child will let you know when it is time to rough him up.  In the meantime I hope we allow our boy babies to be cuddled and gently silly-ed up so they do not repeat what I perceive as the bullying they received as babies.  

There are many interesting articles on the internet about babies and gender difference. Here is one:

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