Have you ever just sat and watched small children running around and playing? No? Well then, I highly recommend it. No doubt, a smile of sheer joy will sneak onto your face, whether you mean for it to or not!
Saturday a friend and I went to see a performance of, “The Nutcracker”. The audience was filled with little girls, little girls who probably dream of growing up to be beautiful ballerinas. During intermission about eight of them gathered in the aisles and just began twirling, leaping and trying to mimic the arm movements of the dancers they had just watched. They were completely immersed in what they were doing, not caring who was watching or how they looked.
The idea for this column was already percolating before their little impromptu show, but watching their delightful abandon solidified my topic. Why is it that tiny little short people can get away with such a feat, but grown ups acting with childish abandon are not as well received? Somewhere along our journey to adulthood, someone revoked our, “let’s be silly & have fun” card. I think we need to find our way back to that inner child and recapture the innocence of dancing like no one is watching.
Now, I’m not someone who regularly likes to draw attention to herself, as a matter of fact, I prefer to skate through life anonymously. But, every once in awhile, the urge to do something silly just takes over and voila!, before you know it I’m off running up and down twenty-five stairs, ten times, on the river walk in San Antonio just because it’s fun!!!
Friday my husband and I were walking on the river looking at the beautiful Christmas lights. He paused, right beside a set of stairs, and before he knew what had happened, I had taken off for the top! Knowing there was no altering my course, he leaned against a planter and patiently waited for my impulse to run it’s progression. Having been married to me for almost 30 years, he has grown to love these moments of childish abandon and sometimes, he even joins in!!!
Never have I encountered a set of monkey bars that did not challenge me to cross them, and unless there are delimiting factors at play, I guarantee I am going to cross those monkey bars. Perhaps it is the gymnast of my youth lingering on, but structures that can be climbed also enjoy taunting me, and anything resembling a balance beam, I’m walking on it!
Texas State University has the proud distinction of graduating a former U.S. President, Lyndon Baines Johnson. Every day, while scurrying across campus, trying to make it to class on time, I would pass his statue. During my senior photo shoot I decided it would be fun to dance with him.
Although I love to dance, the gift of rhythm was not bestowed upon me. My gyrations resemble those of a dancing albatross making me a bit self conscious. Once though, when my sister and I were on a cruise ship in the middle of the dark ocean, surrounded by thousands of strangers, the desire to join the huge dance party going on mid-ship was just too strong to withstand. Not knowing the steps, we jumped right into the middle anyhow. Our hair got frizzy and our clothes became sweat soaked, and the smiles never left our faces. Oh, and I promise, we were sober.
My point here is that life is too short to take it so seriously. Yes, life can be tumultuous; we pay too many taxes, we have health concerns, we go through divorce, our cars need new tires, our boss is demanding. . . you get the picture, but who says it can’t be amusing too? Skip rocks across a pond, climb a jungle gym, and even if your eye hand coordination is abysmal, play H-O-R-S-E! In other words, dance like no one is watching and I guarantee the hard times won’t seem quite so hard.
Until Next Time,
Becky J Miller