No, I’m not crazy. Hear me out.
So the other day, I was up to my ears in work. I was stressing about my upcoming business trip to LA and feeling awful about leaving the kids. I was navigating some choppy waters with some friend drama. I was soothing a client who was in a panic over a faulty link in her website. I was feeling, in general, that I wanted to erase all traces of myself from the internet, move to Bali, make seashell art and drink Pina Coladas.
Then the scream. “Mooooooom, you have to come here right away!”
Now when any of my kids say that I immediately assume I am going to find them bleeding or vomiting. I rushed to play room, fearing the worst, mentally calculating what I will do with the oldest while I drive the youngest to the emergency room…
They were making a video to the song Space Unicorn. “Look mommy we’re playing together!” said my daughter. “Come and play with us!!!”
A few years ago I would have been annoyed that they interrupted “important” stuff to show me this. But now? I realize that they were teaching me (as they always do) EXACTLY what I needed to learn. So here, for you, are the BEST lessons I learned that day with the help of my kids and the most annoying, nonsense song ever recorded.
- Play more. Life is meant to be fun. How much of your day (percentage or hours) is spent WORKING, stressing, planning, fulfilling obligations etc and how much is spent in what feels like PLAY? Really take an inventory here. Flip and tweak and shift til the balance is either even or playing is winning. Serious is BORING.
Unless you’re curing cancer, you’re not curing cancer. Here’s what I mean: Yes, our work means something to us. It’s important. It might make a difference. It might get problems solved and jobs done. And maybe it’s important that we have a clean house and that the laundry doesn’t pile up. But every time I find myself stressing about something (Anything from a pile of laundry to an email that goes out one day later than planned) I ask myself this question: Will anyone die because of this? Are any lives on the line because this isn’t happening the way it “should?” The answer is always, every single time, NO. So I relax. It can be done tomorrow. Your work matters. But so does your sanity. So does your health. So does your peace. Very few things are the end of the world. So shrug it off, solve it, and then go play.
Curiosity is the bridge to wholeness and maybe even money. Elizabeth Gilbert tells a story about how she always wanted a garden. And she found herself curious about where her flowers came from. She started googling. And she didn’t really think about it turning into anything. She just followed that curiosity. And kept following it, all over the world in fact, to various plant and flower libraries. That curiosity became her best-selling book “The Signature of All Things.” Whatever you find yourself curious about, it’s not random. Our curiosities are carefully planted seeds, placed in our minds and hearts for a reason. Follow them. See what happens. You may find yourself with a wonderfully fulfilling hobby, a new man, a best-selling book. Who knows? The mystery is half the fun. Play isn’t frivolous. Hobbies aren’t extravagances. It all matters. It’s all pieces to your WHOLENESS and happiness.
So I did it. I got on the bed and I jumped with them.
I put the computer away for the night. I made a mental note to add something to my latest chapter (my version of play) and I ended the night cozied up on the couch. I sent the emails out the NEXT day. I planned the trip the next day too. And you know what? I woke up that “next day” feeling re-fueled and recharged. I had needed that break. And most importantly, as usual, no one died because of it. =)