Thursday, June 18, 2015

Puddle Jumpin'

My husband and I have been talking a lot about having fun.  We flashed back to a time when we were flirting but not yet dating. We were at an accounting software conference (can you think of anywhere more fun to be?!) and by 2 AM we were racing down the hotel hallway and competing in a cartwheel contest.  We weren't worried about what anybody thought; we weren't worried about looking dumb or even about hurting ourselves.  We just let go and laughed and made a fantastic memory.  But as they years have passed and our focus has been on serious things like starting and growing careers and raising well balanced children, we have not been as good at having fun.  I wondered if that was just an excuse I gave myself, so I started to look for opportunities to have fun.  Wouldn't you know it - They are everywhere.

"Mommy!!  C'mom!  Let's play in the rain!" my three year old yelled to me from the driveway.  I was standing in the garage, arms crossed, watching him leap into the puddles joyfully.  Before, I would have been content to watch.  I would have thought about it messing up my hair (I know, I know) and about how it would be a pain to have to change clothes.  But after the fun talk, I decided to let go. 
"Let's do it!" I said as I ran out in the pouring rain.  
"Let's have a race, Mommy!" he said as he grabbed my hand.  We ran with abandon down the sidewalk shrieking with giggles. We found the best puddles and jumped as high as we could.  We kicked the water into the air and spun around holding hands.  Before long, my oldest found us and I could see that our joy was contagious.  He joined in the splashing and racing.  Neighborhood kids that had just been rained out of baseball practice merged with our little pack and my boys rushed to show them the very best spots to splash in.  It was fun at it's purest form.  

I have become so practical, so good at anticipating the negative effects of letting go (I will be exhausted the next day if I stay out late!  It will be such a mess to clean up if I let them do that!) that I had forgotten the enormous benefits of pure joy.  It lifts your soul, makes you feel free. It unleashes a part of us that is too often held close to the vest. Our responsibilities do not mean that we cannot have as much fun as we had in our youth.  It just means that we have to capture every opportunity that comes and not question it.  We must live with abandon and fill our spirits with joy.

Look for opportunities to let go this week.  I would be willing to bet that the joy it gives you will far surpass the practical consequences.

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