Seeing my friends is my favorite time of the day. Running around the playground. Our parents don’t always like it. They don’t like when I come home with my clothes all dirty. They pick me up from school and they just know I had a good day. My hair is all messy. My shoes have dirt. I have sweat all over my face. I can’t stop smiling and laughing. Weekends and summers are the best. Nothing to do but play. Now that is living life. 

When was the last time I played? I was at a park. My partner and I were fighting over the last bite of our snack. Stealing. Chasing. Tripping. Jumping. That last bite was better than all the previous ones.

Play

Why is it that acting our age as adults means being serious. No more playing. Work now, play later. Productivity over all. We spend most of our lives as working adults yet after retirement we regret those years. We hear the warnings from older generations. It seems to be a choice. Disappointing our future self or our present self. Wishing we spent more time doing what we wanted or wishing society recognized our productivity. It is up to each one of us to decide what matters most. We still have responsibilities though. Money doesn’t grow on trees. The house doesn’t clean itself. Homework needs to get done. If we don’t do these things, we can easily spiral down to feelings of failure and uselessness. Why can’t we include some fun with these things, these responsibilities.

         “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” I don’t know how else to say it to make other people understand and listen. We need more fun in our lives. We often talk about the joys of childhood and not having to deal with responsibilities but do we ever consider bringing that joy back into adulthood? Why do we look down on these childish things? I mean of course just like we need to create the concept of savages in order to feel civilized. We need to create a difference between children and adults in order to match the difference in authority. I get it, we grow up and take on responsibilities. We become independent and we need to make money to survive. In order to make money, we need to work hard and be good at what we do. In order to work hard, we need to put in lots of time. In order to be good at what we do we need to put in the time. There is a lot of time that we need to invest just so that we can sustain ourselves let alone our families. Time becomes a valuable asset and if we need to choose between having money to survive and having a stress-free life logic tells us that you can’t have one without the other. The amount of time we dedicate to work is never going to be enough. We are always going to think we need to put in more time, more effort. That’s the downfall of the world we live in. If we decide to take some time for ourselves we make sure that we don’t spend too much time on that because then we feel lazy and self-indulgent. We don’t time our “work time”. I’m not talking about the 9 to 5 schedule. Yes, that is timed. What about our other responsibilities? What about extra time? A lot of people work longer hours, bring work home, work multiple jobs or simply have to deal with other responsibilities.

       We hear it a million times “when you die you won’t wish you had worked harder”. Somehow that feels too far away. We don’t tend to talk or even acknowledge death. The thoughts pop into our heads when we experience it with a loved one. And as sad as it sounds, these thoughts don’t tend to last long. As soon as the grieving process is over we are back to our normal selves not caring about living a life without regrets. Sounds nice. A life without regrets. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for many of us. Some of us may think we don’t regret anything in life because it got us to where we are. We don’t think about what-ifs; but what if on our deathbeds we regret not enjoying life as much as we could. We all have a bucket list even if it isn’t written. When are we hoping to get these things done if we are too busy working all the time? The idea is that we work hard upfront so that we can retire early and do all the things on our bucket list. We have this idea of earning our time off. We work to get our vacation time. We work to get paid so we can go on vacation. We work so we can retire. We look forward to the weekends, the holidays, the days off. Everywhere in society we are all just wishing to have time off to do what we want. To have fun. To be childish? Yes! why not? Children are notoriously curious. They are incredibly imaginative. They don’t second guess themselves. They speak their minds. They ask for what they want. They find joy everyday. I don’t see how any of these things are a bad thing. We all have, to some degree, an inner child, we should let them out more often. Tapping into our nostalgia is a great way to let them out. 

“Blazing with Color” Round Puzzle
Image by Rohit Sen