Why So Serious?!?

Why So Serious

No seriously!

We’re ALL so dang serious!

But kids on the other hand, almost take nothing seriously.

They can go from crying and being upset one moment, to having the most joyful amazing moment rocking out to a song they’ve heard 1,000 times the next.

So when did it all change?

When did WE start to take things so dang seriously?

And maybe more specifically, when did I start taking things so seriously?

Adulting: A Sad Trip to Seriousville

You see I started questioning this a few weeks ago when my wife commented to me that I hadn’t said ANYTHING to her the whole night.

And it was true…I was so caught up in thought that I wasn’t REALLY there.

I was off somewhere else, taking things way too seriously.

And for what? I’ve already got it made!

This isn’t a new trend for me either….in general I take things way too seriously and this is both a superpower and a weakness.

Because I can be super focused, I was able to build a great career despite numerous setbacks and failures.

By focusing on the 80% of things that move the needle and by being a serious and focused person helped me to get to where I am today!

So I’ll never regret taking things so seriously in life….but it also seems I never quite turned the switch off after I left the corporate world for good.

Finding Your Inner Child

Now, when my kids are at the perfect age where they can truly enjoy life without taking much seriously, it has me realizing that I want to be doing the same.

But no….instead, I am focused on learning a new language for a trip this summer.

Instead, I’m focused on building Accidentally Retired’s email list, so that I can reach a larger audience.

Instead, I’m focused on running the website I bought a few years back to supplement my early retirement cash flow.

Instead, I’m focused on my health and wellness, by hiking, biking, walking, and counting my calories.

Instead, I’m focused on coaching my son’s soccer team.

And finally, last but not least, I’m focused on being a good husband and Dad.

The point is. Where is the fun? I am still taking things too seriously!

And here I am wasting my chance to have fun. That one chance, my friends is our ONE life.

That isn’t to say that there isn’t a time and place for serious endeavors…

But is the mountain worth climbing if you don’t enjoy the view?

If when you finally reach the top of the mountain, you’re looking over at the next peak rather than ENJOYING the view -> that is the problem, isn’t it?

And it’s not JUST me either!

I look around and almost everyone is taking things too seriously.

From my parents to my in-laws, and from my wife to my friends.

We are ALL so serious. Every damn one of us.

So when my wife pointed out that I wasn’t very chatty, it was more than that. It was a commentary on my being. My energy.

And it has been off. For a long damn time.

I am taking things too seriously. I am taking myself too seriously. And I am taking life too seriously!

Parenting is hard. Relationships are hard. Work is hard. Investing is hard. It is all hard.

But that doesn’t mean that it all has to be serious too.

So my challenge to myself to you too is to find ways to bring more joy into your life:

  • To listen to more music.
  • To do more of the things that bring you joy.
  • To truly enjoy the little fun moments of life.
  • To leave behind some of the stress.
  • To let go of the past.
  • And to take things less seriously.

I’ll end with a bit from the letter I wrote from my 80 year old self. He told me:

Don’t take things too seriously. 

Life goes by quickly.

Remember the bigger picture.

Our time on earth is short.

Be present.

Well, I will work on it!

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1 comment

  1. yeah I’ve been guilty of this. especially when I was working. I was in survival mode, everything felt like a “life or death battle” in my head.

    On one hand it made me a high achiever in a very short period of time.

    On the other hand, I think it was to a fault, I certainly could have found better balance in life.

    It took me 2-3 years of retirement before I sort of “got it” and realized we only live once. Now I have the mindset of “do your best, and forget the rest”.

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