Maybe Peter Pan Was On To Something
Ever watch children at a playground? Better yet, ever watch children approach a playground? They dash, run, and race to get on the monkey bars or the swings, usually hollering with delight. What’s the last thing you sprinted to? The midnight sale at Target after Thanksgiving?
Children may not understand the value of play, but they certainly relish in it. Why do you think schools have recess? It’s a release. Study, study, play. Study, study, play. As adults, we too need that “play” time and while we may get a lunch in the middle of the day, most of us work right through it.
The proverb “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” means without stopping to take a break from the monotony of work, we’re going to get bored and uninteresting. And who wants that? With so much competing for our time, it’s important to have things in our life that excite us. While many hit the gym for their “play” time, I’m referring less to the adrenalin rush you get from the work out, and more on the thrill it brings. Honestly, do you run to the gym because you can’t wait to get on the treadmill? Doubtful.
Somewhere along the line we lose sight of – or maybe we just forget – what it was that really excited us when we were kids. Can you name one thing you now love to do? And if so, when is the last time you couldn’t wait to get there?
This past Sunday morning I got up early and drove to the bike path. I put on my bike shoes, heart rate monitor, helmet, stuck an energy snack in my back pouch, and cued up my music. Then, at the exact moment I clicked my shoe into the pedal, I laughed. Laughed! Why? I was excited about the ride. The weather was perfect, my back felt fine, and I couldn’t wait for that sensation of gliding through a forest of trees. None of those 32 miles felt like a workout, it was just pure fun, a feeling that doesn’t come from being at work or doing the laundry.
The older we get, the more imperative it is we find those things that puts a kick in our step, lights up our smile, and makes us feel like we’re kids again. Because that’s something we should never outgrow.