Maybe I’m just stuck on this title because I’m going on vacation in the morning. Maybe it’s because I’m going sailing in the Caribbean and I’m just getting into the attitude of the islands. Or, maybe it’s just what I need to hear right now too.
Just a few days ago, I was walking on Pearl Street in downtown Boulder, CO. There’s a section of sidewalk in front of the courthouse with “jumping water”. This is where water jumps out of holes in the sidewalk and shoots into the air. The atmosphere was quite festive with a lot of little children running though the water and playing, their peals of laughter and shrieks of joy echoing down the street. As I stopped to watch, I was struck by the visual of all of the parents seated on the sidelines, watching their children play. The oldest child was about 10 years old. And then it hit me and I asked myself “Where and when did we learn how to worry?” Why weren’t the parents playing? Come on, it was 90 degrees and the water was cool. Certainly that would have been refreshing to the adults too, no? When did we lose that ability to capture the moment? There must be some magical age where we “know better” than to act like that. I wonder if that’s the same age where we adopt the cloak of worry.
My mother worried about everything and I believe, missed a lot of life because of spending the present worrying about the future. She worried about “what the neighbors would think”, and other silly topics that didn’t matter in everyday life. As a result, a lot of the present was spent with thoughts of dread and concern, instead of the carefree attitude that these children had as they lived in the moment. As I watched this crowd, I wondered how many of those parents wish they could jump and play in the water with their children? Were they instead sitting on the sidelines concerned about what others would think of their childlike behavior? I wonder if they were tempted to join in the fun, or if we’ve become so conditioned that it wasn’t even considered as a logical thought.
What good does worry do anyway? Worry is like trying to swim across a stream with an anchor tied around your feet. Cut it free! If our thoughts have the power to create our world, then aren’t we just bringing the yuck closer to us by worrying about it, even when that’s not what we want? You can only think one thought at a time, so make it a happy thought!
Today, I’d like to invite you to look at your life and see when you are like the parents on the sidelines when you’d rather be like the children having all the fun. Let go of the worry and just for a moment, pretend that you are still a child, free from the responsibilities of life and just play. Just be happy. Do something outrageous that you wouldn’t have done except that you read this blog and accepted the invitation. Do something that makes your heart soar! Celebrate the life that you have and the moment that you’re living and watch what happens. My guess is that if one of the parents had joined the children others would have followed. So I’m reaching out, jumping into the virtual water to play, and inviting you to join me. Come on, don’t worry, be happy!
Choose to be happy. Choose to be carefree and enjoy life. Choose to laugh even more than you do. Replace any worries with happy thoughts. Jump into the water with the kids! My guess is that you’ll be very glad you did. And, you’ll live not only a longer but also a much happier, rewarding life.