When I stand at one of my kitchen counters, I am able to look out a big picture window into my front yard, which is situated on a "cozy" city street. But it’s a quiet street with lovely neighbors, and I get much peace watching birds and squirrels and sometimes rabbits and even the occasional deer as I assemble a sandwich or a brew a cup of tea.
I was putting the kettle on when something caught my attention from out of the corner of my eye:
|Photo by Daniel Hansen on Unsplash|
A single, solitary bubble floated in my field of vision. It dodged and weaved around porch furniture and bushes, buffeted by a light breeze before it swerved in toward the window to hover directly in front of my eyes for a millisecond before making its way down the sidewalk and into a neighbor’s yard. I guess the kids next door were playing with bubbles and one made its way over to my house.
Do you know what I did next?
I threw my head back and laughed like no one was looking!
Okay, no one WAS looking, because I was home alone, but that’s not the point!
Immediately I was reminded of just how much I loved bubbles as a kid. I couldn’t get enough of them! My Dad and I used to go out in the yard and blow bubbles together, getting more interesting wands and bubble contraptions as summers went on. Some nights we’d be covered in soap remnants after a good evening of blowing bubbles. Those were such fun times!
I think as adults, sometimes we forget the simplicity of those childhood joys. We forget to look upon the world with bright eyes, joyful abandon, and a sense of play or even mild mischief.
It's summertime now, and I can't help but remember how summers used to be so carefree: Riding our bikes and swimming all day. Playing with our dolls or action figures. Sleeping with stuffed animals. Blowing bubbles and watching them float away on the breeze. Getting into epic Nerf battles. Making mud pies and sand castles. Holding pretend tea parties with our dogs or cats and guinea pigs who patiently put up with being our “guests.”
Those days go by so quickly, and it seems the older we get, the years go by quickly, too. In some ways, time seems to test the limits of physics. Doesn't it seem like years speed up the older we get?
But this piece isn’t meant to be some introspective yearning for the days of yore, because we haven’t lost EVERYTHING from our childhoods. We can always carry our inner child with us...WITHIN us, helping shape and mold the people we are...the people we choose to be.
Are you jaded? Cynical? Unhappy? Unfulfilled? Stressed out? Busy? Did you forget to smile today?
Shed all of that. It does not serve you.
If you’re any of those things above lately, try changing the lens through which you view life.
When was the last time you giggled like a little kid on a merry-go-round? When was the last time you looked at something with a sense of childlike wonder?
Open your eyes and see how truly blessed you are to be here, right now. Part of being a child is to see things for the first time and have a sense of wonder and curiosity about them. Look at your spouse, your kids, your cat, your neighbor, your friends, and SEE them again. Go through your childhood mementos and SEE them, too. Don’t be Calvin, looking at Hobbes in his attic over the years and only seeing a stuffed animal. Calvin and Hobbes had a special kind of magic; we can find that magic again.
I know we all have our daily responsibilities and stressors, but remember to stop and take a breath and live like kids do: unfettered. Unconcerned with all the bigger life stuff. Find the magic again, even if only for a few moments every day. Here are some tips to help with that:
- Dance like you’re in your favorite fairy princess costume and the fairy godmother just waved her magic wand over you.
- Laugh at bad “dad jokes” with the abandon of a 5-year-old.
- Have a tea party with your kids or grandkids.
- Get on that merry-go-round or swing next time you take the kids to the park.
- Go on a rollercoaster and scream your fool head off. Then go do it again. And again, til you’ve laughed and screamed so hard you tucker yourself out and sleep the best sleep ever.
Who cares if it's silly? Silly is fun!
Find your inner child and meet them again. Welcome them back into your life. If childhood wasn't so great, offer healing to yourself and allow yourself to honor your inner child now. (I'll drop a resource or two below.)
Try to see things from a child's perspective once in a while, and let me know how that goes. I think you'll find there's a different quality of joy in your life.
BRB... gotta go buy some bubbles.