By Mel McConaghy
I have been told that as we get older we revert into our second childhood. But, I don’t think it’s true, because I don’t think I ever left my first one.
I believe that we never really leave our childhoods, we are only forced by society, and our parents, to start acting more mature. Although I tried to follow the rigid rules laid down for me by my mother, our educational system and the law, I always found myself reverting back to my childhood.
Just to give you an example, why should I have to eat breakfast in the morning, lunch a twelve o-clock and dinner after five? Why can’t I eat when I’m hungry? Why should I have to eat bacon, toast and eggs, or a cereal for breakfast, when I might prefer a bowl of soup? If I want cereal for dinner, and to eat it at eleven o-clock at night, shouldn’t it be my decision? Do I really need to justify my wants, because they’re not commonly done?
They start trying to train us in school to live in a regimented society. They ring a bell to tell us when school starts. They ring the bell to tell us its recess, then again fifteen minutes later, telling us to return to school. This bell ringing goes on throughout the school year. Then, once we are all educated, they turn us loose on the work world, where bells ring, whistles blow, or time clocks tell us that it’s time to go to work, just like the school bell. Now, as young adults, we do what the school system taught us to do.
Just think how nice it would be if, like a kid, you did the things you like to do. Things that make you happy, instead of things you were ‘trained’ to do. As it stands now, we have to wait until we retire before making up our minds about what we’re going to do. Hopefully, something that we enjoy. This is when society begins pointing fingers at us, saying, “Look at that silly old fool, he wants to have soup for breakfast!” I remember sitting in a restaurant once at lunch time, and ordering ham, eggs and toast. The waitress informed me that breakfast was over at 11:00 am, and when asked why, told me it was to give the cook time to clean the grill for the lunch orders. So, I ordered a toasted ham and egg sandwich, and she served me. I thought, what’s the difference, except the presentation?’ I might be going into my second childhood, but she proved that some people never leave their first.
Entering your second childhood is great, because when you reach it, you become what some people call eccentric, and eccentricity means you can do what you want, when you want, without too many repercussions.
In my twilight zone, the lines between childhood and adulthood remained forever blurred. I never stayed at a job that I didn’t like, nor was my employment dictated to by a buzzer or a bell. And, I’m proud to say so.
My Life Through a Broken Windshield by Mel McConaghy
Mel McConaghy is a retired trucker and author from Prince George, British Columbia. Mel’s tales are his views of life “through a broken windshield”. They are entertaining and humorous in a folksy style.
Visit Mel’s website at www.melmcconaghy.com