I don’t wanna grow up!
Remember when the days rolled by slowly as you longed for the bell to ring, your birthday, holidays, or the first day of summer?
Do you recall the games you played? How often do you reminisce about playing out after dark, building worlds only you could see?
Maybe you spent long, lazy days exploring the woods, bayous, and hidden trails. You may have lined up dolls (or your cousins) to play school, pretending to be teachers, mothers, doctors, or even pianists.
Do you ever wonder what happened to those magical moments when your imagination consumed your thoughts? What happened to that time and place?
When did we give up what brings us joy and strap on the weight of adulthood? Why can’t those worlds co-exist?
I’m not suggesting that we remain children, nor do I necessarily long to return to those days. However, as each year passes, I become more aware of what we put aside and what we carry with us as we get older.
My newsfeed this week painted a bleak picture of the world, our relationships with each other, and the earth offering little hope for the future. On top of all that misery, articles about dealing with stress, anxiety, and aging filled in the gaps.
Was all that going on when we were children? Probably, but those were adult problems that remained far removed from a child’s sheltered world.
I don’t recommend burying our heads in the proverbial sand or ignoring important issues. We need that knowledge to make responsible decisions, vote, and care for ourselves, those we love, and our communities.
But . . .
What if we retrieved some of that youthful playfulness? What if we dug up those moments when we viewed the world in wonder and awe? When was the last time you watched an ant trail?
Silly, you say? Maybe, but you might discover a calmness, a moment to breathe, and a slipping away of worry to enjoy new perspectives. I’ve been reading about aging, and specifically, aging well. Emeran Mayer, M.D., referring to friends in their seventies and eighties, made this observation:
If there is one personal characteristic that stands out among all of them, it is their curiosity and excitement about all things in life, their positive view of the world, and their unwillingness to be bogged down by negative people or events.
We can’t turn back the clock, erase the wrinkles, or return to our childhood. Nothing stops us from reclaiming moments for unabashed joy and playfulness.
The shift requires little more than taking a deep breath, stepping back from the hustle, and finding what most makes you feel most alive.
A short 144 word story about a daughters fervent question, “Is there hope?”
You can add more play to your grown-up life, even now.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to live every day as if this is the “Best Day of My Life.” I’ll be humming this one all day!
“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Find a little wonder this week, take time to imagine, create, and see what you can find in the grass.
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