The importance of being irrational


I'd say most of us occasionally have the thought: 'I don't want to be a grown up anymore.'

Let's face it - being grown up means paying the bills, working, managing a budget, being emotionally regulated (or attempting to be so), not picking your nose (at least in public) and pretending to be happy with the concept of delayed gratification.

Fark that.

I reckon I'm rational, mature, responsible and realistic most of the time. My husband rolls his eyes when I put on what he calls 'my lawyer voice' and do my usual stint as the voice of reason. There's a place for that. But there's also a place for being irrational and immature, irresponsible. Hell yeah there is.

In my late twenties, I suddenly got a bit wiser (thank god for that). And I realised something: we have to feed the different parts of ourselves on a regular basis - even the parts we don't like. For if we don't, those parts will scream out in hunger and drown the voices of those parts of us that we prefer. But first, all the parts that make us who we are have to be recognised and accepted. Not always an easy task. Living in denial can be fun for a while (lots of fun), but it's not sustainable. Not if we want to reach a place of general contentment.

I'm 33 and I still sleep with a soft toy, my super-originally named 'Teddy' that my grandparents gave me for my first birthday. Don't underestimate sleeping with a soft toy - they give comfort and they don't snore, get up to use the bathroom or twitch in the night.

Every day, I fill my coffee/tea mug right up to the brim each time I use it. And ninety per cent of the time I spill some and have to clean it up. Not so long ago, I had no idea why I did this. But I do now. I have to do something irrational each day or otherwise I'll get swamped in doing things that make sense. I don't want to use 'good sense' as my guiding principle all the time, so I use bad sense with things that don't really matter - just to feed that and enjoy it.

Painting my nails is another ridiculous thing I do on a regular basis. I'm a hands-on person and invariably I paint them and then do something highly intelligent like opening a can of tuna and pretending to be surprised at the result. As a friend pointed out, that falls within Einstein's definition of insanity. But I'm gonna keep doing it.

Being irresponsible matters. I truly believe that. One of the best memories I have of my mum is from only a few years ago: we went grocery shopping and unloaded our two trolleys into the boot of the car. The supermarket parking lot was sloped and the trolley bay was down the other end of the lot, at the bottom of the slope. Parked cars were spotted everywhere and, like all supermarket trolleys, both of ours had at least one bung wheel and didn't like travelling in straight lines. 

I said to Mum: 'Let's aim for the bay and just let the trolleys go and see what happens.' I saw a rare, childish light in her eye (she's a highly responsible lass) and she agreed with glee. So we did. We gave those bung-wheeled trolleys a good push and watched them swerve down the hill, narrowly missing other cars. They didn't quite make the bays (each banged off one of the railings) but we happily avoided the real possibility of damage to other people's cars, all the while giggling like schoolgirls. I'll never forget it. I wanna go back to that lot so I can do it again.

At the crux of all this is, you have to be a kid sometimes. You have to connect with the parts you're supposed to have grown out of by now or you'll find that old inner spark of yours snuffed out by the burdens of adulthood. And who wants that?

Happy playing.

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