You're never too old to become younger.
-Mae West

From "It's Better to Be Over the Hill Than Under It: Thoughts on Life Over Sixty" by Eda LeShan:

I felt such a mixture of joy and pain, as I rode my [carousel] horse, round and round, exhilarated, delighted - playful

. The joys of the past, the difficulties of the day, all meshed - a little girl allowing the real world to recede for something far more important and refreshing than sitting at my desk.

What happens, when I remember it is time for a carousel ride, is that when I become playful, the child inside me is allowed out for recess. A carousel makes me feel four years old again, and I am convinced that the only way to be creative and constructive in our adult years - especially the later ones - is to get back in touch with the child we once were.

It doesn't have to be a carousel for everyone. It might be fishing or a picnic or a game of miniature golf or going to a circus or anything else that takes us back in time and grants us a special, childlike freedom in which we accept all our thoughts and memories, sad and happy - and most of all, frees us from our grownup selves....

When we are tired or sad or truly grief-stricken over some terrible loss or find it impossible to do what we have to do, it is time to be playful, to comfort the inner child, to respect our need for nurturing. Find the place that can bring you to the lovely, special inner self that is with you from birth to death. It is the source of all creativity and of feeling most alive.

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