Just the other day, we had torrential storms. The same storm system that took lives in the Southeastern U.S. had just spent several hours in our area, although we were spared the severity of the South. Please keep the family’s in the South who were affected in your prayers.
After the storm the sun came out in the afternoon, the weather was as gorgeous as it had been horrid earlier. You know that crisp, clean-air feeling that happens after a major storm comes through and cleanses everything? That’s what I’m talking about. Anyway, my buddy Conor and I went for a walk on the golf course next to my house. I rarely wear shoes inside, and when the weather hits about 65 degrees I rarely wear them outside either. So, I was walking barefooted in the soggy spring grass experiencing the squishy feeling of the water pushing up from the soaked earth between my toes. It was marvelous.
It was so wonderful I broke out into an array of cartwheels. This is something I do annually to ensure that, at just about 50, I can still do cartwheels!!! The little kid in me was rejoicing. So I just let him go. I grabbed Conor by the tail a few times and then chased him…and then let him chase me. I love the feeling of being chased…especially by Conor. It is impossible to suppress the giggles you get when your favorite dog is chasing you.
At this moment I didn’t think at all of my responsibilities. I didn’t ponder my BHAGs (“Big Hairy Audacious Goals”-Collins from “Good to Great”). I didn’t worry about my children and their ups and downs as they make their way through college. I simply let my inner child play and play. I just had fun.
This is an important part of a good life. Have fun. It makes me crazy when I hear the words “don’t be childish.” These aren’t directed at me by anyone anymore, because most everyone who knows me would know these words would fall on deaf ears. I am childish. I will always be childish. If I ever lose my childishness I hope at that moment I leave this planet.
We are all childish. Our development in life is simply a compounding of new knowledge, responsibilities, physical maturation, and wisdom. All these things are compounding on the child we started as. The 5-year old us never leaves…it just learns new stuff, gets bigger, and takes on responsibility!
We need to let the 5-year old have some fun. Suppressing your inner child is a one-way ticket to misery. The 5-year old me loves to laugh. loves to fish, loves a good story, likes to work at puzzles, likes to be mischievous…I would never want to suppress him. I have to feed him and give him space. I feed the adult version of me also. I do this through reading the bible, and educating myself daily, and challenging myself constantly, and keeping my body physically fit.
The 5-year old us never leaves…it just learns new stuff, gets bigger, and takes on responsibility!
So “don’t be childish?” No no no no…BE CHILDISH. Be childish a lot. Be purposefully childish. Go find yourself a swing set and have a swing. Climb on some monkey bars. Play a game. Do whatever you like to do and do it whenever you can. You still have to deal with your responsibilities. I’m not suggesting you have fun at the expense of your responsibilities. I’m suggesting you have fun in addition to dealing with your responsibilities (and when it’s appropriate have fun while you deal with your responsibilities). The time will come in the future (hopefully a long long way in the future) when your body will not allow you to do the things your mind wants to do. So do stuff NOW that you love and be a child.
Live with the curiosity of a child. Have the unbridled hope of a child. Laugh and enjoy life as a child. You can….and you should.
I’d love it if you would share with our readers how you let your inner child play.