I finally had a chance last weekend and curl up and watch Christopher Robin – the new Winnie-the-Pooh based movie. It took me right back to my childhood, how much I loved how simply matter-of-fact Pooh could be, with his merry (and not so merry) friends
The movie features Christopher Robin as he grows up, often forgetting the fun he used to have with the beloved Pooh bear.
My original title for this article was “How Not to be a Heffalump”. I wasn’t sure if you knew what a Heffalump was, as who knew how long it has been since you read or watched Winnie-the-Pooh.
If you remember from the story, a Heffalump is feared by Winnie-the-pooh and friends for stealing their fun. It was this imaginary thing that seemed so very real to them. Did you ever figure out what Heffalump was? Although it was portrayed as an elephant in the Heffalump Movie, I think it’s an adult; someone who is logical, busy, and never has time for fun. It was a great reminder that just because we grow up, doesn’t mean we need to become a Heffalump.
When was the last time you had fun? I often chat with older adults about their hobbies or things they do for fun, and their answer often resolves around … “I don’t know” or “I used to do this or that but don’t anymore”… and that saddens me.
Winnie-the-Pooh has some great advice and I think it can help us all. Afterall, none of us wants to be a Heffalump. I think these 3 lessons on aging from the beloved Pooh bear can really apply as reminders to all of us.
Life is best lived when you live in the moment.
“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.”
You have a choice how you view each moment. You can find joy in simple things in life or you can grumble about it. Both are options, but living in the moment often leads to more happiness. Gratitude for what you have will change your perception.
I once was moving a lady into retirement living at 96 years of age, but she never seemed that old. She always had such a youthful vibe about her anytime I had met her before that day. When she arrived, I asked her how she was doing, a common question that most would reply with a simple ‘fine’. But I’ll never forget her comment that day. “Sweetie, I’ve lived 96 years, and although I thought I’d never look forward to this day, I’m just going to look at it as adding a new chapter to my book and make this chapter as fun as all the rest of my chapters so far. I plan to have fun you know” she said kind of cautiously. I gave a chuckle and reassured her I was up for fun and shenanigans whenever she felt like it.
Sometimes tea and a friend is all one needs
“I don’t feel very much like Pooh today,” said Pooh.
“There there,” said Piglet. “I’ll bring you tea and honey until you do.”
Sometimes we just need someone to be with. Sometimes we just need someone who can listen. Sometimes we need to be okay being our own grumbly self or be okay with our friends being their grumbly self – as long as it’s not for too long. Our friends matter a lot in this world, and we need to take the time to be them but we have to acknowledge that they way they feel is okay, regardless of what they feel. Sometimes just being there is the best thing we can do.
I find when we live in our homes too long, and our social circle shrinks, we lose this. Talking with friends is like our free therapy in life. When you can’t get out and see your friends, or they no longer call on you – we lose our therapy. I think everyone needs therapy…and friend therapy is the best. We need to have a plan as our social circle shrinks, as we need to make sure we stay connected as we age. We often forget that tea with friends can be a cure to many of life’s ailments. We need to plan to always have someone to talk to.
Having a child-like spirit is a key to keep having fun
“Hallo, Rabbit,” he said, “is that you?”
“Let’s pretend it isn’t,” said Rabbit, “and see what happens.”
I’ve always said a youthful spirit is the fountain of youth. Whether you make believe, you people watch, or try something new – that curiosity of life is what keeps us young at heart. When did you last try something new?
Challenging our mind by trying something new, or listening to new music or going a different route to our favorite neighborhood coffee shop – all these things keep our minds active and on it’s toes so to speak! Pooh reminds us that this natural curiosity needs to continue all through our life. Without it, we easily become Heffalumps and find the joy disappearing in our life.
I love and appreciate that silly Pooh bear the older I get. Maybe I can more clearly see how simple it can be to have fun. Maybe it’s because it shows us how good friends means everything in this world. Maybe it’s because I can see how easily it can be to become a Heffalump. What I know is I’m in control of how I age, and I tell you – I plan to be a lot more like Pooh and his friends and enjoy the life.
There will always be changes and challenges but these lessons from Pooh bear can help you focus on the best parts of aging.
So tell me – what lesson on life and aging to do you feel Winnie-the-Pooh has taught you – please share your thoughts in the comment section below.