When did we become adults? Did we cross a line somewhere into lives filled to the brim with paying bills, working nine-to-five jobs, going to bed early, and getting up the next day only to do it all over again? I say we take a step in the other direction and let our inner children run free, even just for a little bit.
I’m not advocating a lifestyle of shirking our work or neglecting the importance of sleep, work, or providing for ourselves and our families. I am, however, encouraging all of us– myself included– to make a conscious effort to make time for play. It will likely look different for everyone, but we ought to spend more time doing things that bring us joy. The anticipation of getting to do those things will then motivate us to get our work done so we can relax and enjoy ourselves.
Kids deal with problems when they are faced with them, but then they move on. They do their chores when needed, complete their homework, and take care of themselves (although they may need to be reminded from time to time). But they know that when the day’s work is done, they get to play. And the knowledge of the upcoming playtime is what fuels them through their work.
Don’t worry about how well you might do something or what others might think. Just do it. Sing loudly. Dance wildly. Run with abandon. Do it for the joy that fills your heart, not for the money, attention, obligation, or opportunity to check something off your to-do list.
Develop a new hobby. Go to the park. Lay in the grass and look for fun shapes hidden in the clouds. Ride your bike. Swim in a lake. Play with a puppy. Buy a coloring book and crayons and set to work creating a masterpiece (you could even use these adult coloring pages!). Pick up a paintbrush. Join a sports team, regardless of how well you think you play.
We don’t have to feel like we’ve abandoned our carefree days, exchanging freedom for frustration and joy for jobs. Who said kids have to be the only ones who have fun? You may just find that life looks a little brighter when you let yourself relax and spend time doing things that you enjoy. Your day doesn’t have to be filled only with items from your to-do list. All work and no play leads to burn out and rather dull lives. If we truly want to live life to the fullest, we must embrace joy, creativity, and the freedom to pursue our passions.
What will you do today that brings you joy?