I would never wish to go back to my childhood to do it all over again, but I have moments where I can make myself feel like I’m 10 years old. It’s all a matter of perspective. You see, I’ve noticed on my walks to and from work each day that I tend to slow down and be a little more “playful” on the way home. I think it’s probably the same for kids who walk to school (I rode the bus, so I really can’t relate)… on the way there, you’re in a hurry to get there; there’s a time constraint that has to be respected. But on the way home, you can take all the time you want! If you feel like walking a different route for some new scenery – you can! If you want to take a break and watch the fountain at the park – you can! If you want to stop for an ice cream on your way home – you can! It’s totally like being 10 years old again.
Plus, I’ve found myself doing silly stuff… like walking on the curb to see how far I can go without falling off; launching myself off the curb at the crosswalks and running across the streets for no reason except to run; kicking icicles that have fallen from roofs along the sidewalks until they break into tiny pieces too small to kick anymore; slowing down and marveling at things.
Kids are like sponges and they absorb their surroundings, drinking up all they see and hear. When is the last time you did that? In my last post, I complained about all the icy spots on the sidewalks and then I realized that you can either go through life complaining or change your perspective and find some good in every situation.
So on the way home from work yesterday, I decided to play a game with the ice spots. Whenever I’d come up to one, I’d stand there for a moment to assess the best route that would be the least slippery. Sometimes I’d stand there for a whole minute! Which feels like an eternity if you start to be self-conscious about the cars driving by or thinking about people watching you from their houses. They might think you’re nuts or something!
But I figure if I put a smile on some commuter’s face when they saw this grown woman walking home from work acting like a ten-year-old, then that’s okay. Maybe more people will be willing to make fools of themselves in order to have some foolish fun if they realize they’re not the only ones. Forget about your aching back, your wrinkles and those extra pounds. Go pick some wildflowers for your mom; take a turn on the merry-go-round at the playground; see how high you can swing on the swing-set; let your dog chase you around the park; smoosh your feet in some mud; sled down that hill.
Go play, people.