Friday, October 21, 2011
I think so. Why not? It's a merry-go-round. I'm an adult. This contraption is for kids, right?
Wrong. If it's there, if you get an invitation to ride it, I say, "Go for it!"
So I ask you again...when was the last time you played hard? By that, I mean, when was the last time you were willing to leap at the chance to do something you might not have thought about since childhood. Kids go for it. It's their natural instinct. They just go out there and do it. They don't pause to think about it. They just make the decision right then and there to play and maybe to play hard, depending on what the game or fun might involve. Generally, they just jump in. They're thinking more about having a good time than anything else. They might not consider the consequences, not until they get older.
Then, in their teen years, they'll start to worry what others might think of them. What would my friends say if they saw me sitting on a flying duck? OMG! The horror! They'd probably turn the other cheek. They'd skip the ride. They wouldn't dare consider riding on a merry-go-round, especially if the seats turn out to be fairy tale animals. They wouldn't dare be seen engaging in such silliness. Isn't that too bad?
Thankfully, as we get older, we begin to realize that childlike behaviors are innocent behaviors. They allow us to see life in the big picture, the one that takes into consideration that opportunities are all around us--if we but reach out or leap out at them. They remind us that the world really is our oyster.
And, sure, riding a merry-go-round may not seem like hard play. But to an adult, it takes some thought and effort. We might stop first to think about who might see us, as we would were we still teenagers. For a second, we might second-guess ourselves. We might even consider which animal to hop on. Is one better than the other? Why? We might want to know how long the ride will last. We might ask ourselves: Do we have time? We might consider the cost. Face it, as adults, we learn to think too much. Who really cares which animal we ride? Aren't they all the same? Does it really matter how long the ride will last? It's not going to be too long of a ride. No one has that kind of time. We know that. And as long as we have a few dollars in our pockets, we can probably afford a ride on the merry-go-round--even the one pictured here (thanks to my writer friend Susan McKee who took this photo of me) at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C. this month.
My point is: When an opportunity arises, consider being like a child and taking the leap. Why not? It's going to be a learning experience, no matter what. You'll get a sense of who you are when you remove all inhibitions. You'll reconnect with your inner child. That's never a bad thing. You'll give yourself the chance to explore what it's like to have fun again. Pure and simple fun. If you haven't played hard in while, maybe it's time to let loose.
If you have, share with us what kind of child-like behaviors you allowed yourself to experiment with lately. Go ahead. Make your day!