I am once again re-evaluating my life and what I want to do with the rest of it—what will I choose to spend my time doing. My initial reply is, writing more and working less.
Yes, losing my father has illuminated the reality of my own mortality and forced me acknowledge how short life really is and made me consider how I will spend the days left in my own life and how to make the most of each one of them.
None of us know how many days we have. Some of us are told our days are numbered because of a disease that modern medicine cannot cure. Some of us are taken without warning, in our sleep or in the course of our day by violence, accident or disaster. Few plan for that. I don’t plan for that, either. I live my days as if there will be no end to them.
I have been on a journey of re-evaluation for awhile now. This blog has several posts about slowing down, simplifying, shedding stuff, and eliminating drama. I’ve ignited discussions about planning for a simpler lifestyle in retirement and considering what I will do to fill my days when I am no longer employed.
But I haven’t written anything about taking time to be a child at play again. To experience the simple joy I had when I was a child lost in play.
Life as a 50 something adult is full of so much seriousness. I have tied myself down to managing my career, maintaining my home, chasing retirement and a multitude of other grand responsibilities that keep me grounded to the path of aging.
Do you remember being a child, wishing to be grown-up, to be freed from childhood? I could not wait to grow up. I saw making my own decisions and being an adult as the ultimate freedom. But, having been an adult for almost 40 years now, I can say, aloud, that it isn’t freedom at all.
Of course, I can’t go back to my childhood, but I can take a “play like a kid again” break now and then, leave my cell phone at home and ignore the adult voice shunning the idea and just be a kid again for a little while.
· I’ll go to the beach, roll up my jeans and run in the waves and still get my pant legs wet and sandy and squish my toes in the wet sand and giggle. I’ll throw my arms up to the sky and shriek with glee with each wave that splashes up on me.
· I’ll take a Saturday afternoon and walk to my neighborhood 7-11 and enjoy my favorite frozen Slurpee drink. I’ll walk a little slower on my return home, sipping my Slurpee and paying attention to the cracks in the sidewalk instead of thinking about the deadlines waiting for me at work and home.
· I’ll choose to buy a double dip ice cream cone for lunch occasionally and savor each cold, sweet lick of my two favorite flavors.
· I’ll head to the park and swing on the swings for half an hour. Close my eyes and lean back, like I did when I was a kid, and try to swing as high as I can, remembering how free that made me feel.
Life is short. Take time to play. How will you play like a kid again?