"I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny."
~Dr. Suess, The Cat in the Hat
When do we forget how to play?
Recently I was watching a baby squirrel chase the birds on our deck. Mom or Dad was precariously perched upside down munching on the birdfeeder and junior was having a blast shooting across the rail to make the birds fly away. I've never seen an adult squirrel do that.
When do we lose our love of silliness? I know not everyone does. I know adults who still build with Legos. You see the swarms of people at Comicon or the adults who love Disney World even though they don't have children. But typically as adults we don't make it a habit to play.
When was the last time you stopped, on your own, to get an ice cream cone? How long has it been since you climbed on playground equipment? When was your last raucous game of dodgeball?
My family likes to do mini-golf marathons and, on occasion, take over a public tennis court where we play something only very slightly resembling tennis (which is okay-real tennis would be much less fun). But we lose sight of the need to do such things when life gets busy and stresses build. Isn't that when we need it most?
I glanced at an article the other day about how adult horse riders should learn to ride like pony club kids. Kids don't judge themselves harshly or criticize every stride. They just ride and have fun. Adults forget that fun aspect.
I ride with an amazing 65-year-old woman that ends every lesson with such an appreciation that she has the opportunity and ability to still ride a horse. Sometimes she is so happy she cries tears of joy. So I can be obsessing over any number of perceivable minor mistakes but when she starts her thankful dialogue I have no choice but to put them aside and join her in being thankful to have the ability to do something I so love and provides so much fun.
Because even in activities that should be fun we put pressure on ourselves to do it perfectly. How many golfers do you know who sometimes come off of a course feeling defeated rather than uplifted? Unless you're hoping to go pro soon maybe take a breath, take a look around, and enjoy the moment. Take the pressure off, relax, and play.
I beg everyone to find something to do that lets you relax and play. If I remember correctly play time was the best part of kindergarten. It should be the best part of our grown up years as well.
"Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing."
~Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.