My life motto is – “you know what would be fun?” At 61 years of age, I still try to find moments of fun and whimsy in every day. In the hectic pace of adulthood, I consider those moments “necessary exhales”. While my antics at times raise the eyebrows of the responsible and serious, I also think my kid-like spirit often draws them into the possibilities of “play”.
At break time I usually walk with a couple of co-workers. Twice a day we circle the business complex, clocking in about a mile with each walk. One day a round rock on the path caught my attention. Having my break-time tennis shoes on, my inner kid thought – “you know what would be fun?” And at that, I kicked the rock, watching it roll about thirty feet ahead of me. Once I caught up to the quarter-sized stone, I kicked it again, while still maintaining an adult-like conversation with my walking companions.
The rock rolled another thirty feet. About forty feet from where it stopped, there was a large storm grate in the middle of the parking lot. Suddenly my inner-kid wondered, “Can I sink the rock in the storm drain?” Another kick of the rock put me about ten feet shy, and with the next kick, I shot past the grate by about twenty feet. Not to worry though, because two more storm grates loomed just ahead.
The rock kicking continued on each walk for several days – the kicks became about as natural as the steps themselves. The playful moments never hindered our pace, and our co-worker conversations never suffered because of my momentary play time. Quite honestly it seemed like my fun went unnoticed. That is, until the day I sunk a rock.
On that mid-morning walk, about twenty feet from the target I reared my foot back then quickly forward, my shoe tapping the rock with just the right force and trajectory to roll it straight into the opening of the storm grate. I was thrilled. But even more exciting than my inner-kid celebration, was the reaction of my co-workers. As they watched the rock roll, and then disappear between the metal bars, our conversation stopped and their arms went up in a touchdown formation, both of them shouting out a very enthusiastic, “Whoa!”
I realized at that moment, that everyone’s inner-kid wants to come out and play. But sometimes they just don’t remember how to get started. That day was the awaking of my co-workers’ inner-kids. And now, many of our walks include each of us spotting a rock and taking a shot at a storm drain – each of us ready to celebrate a much needed moment of play.
Whimspiration’s challenge to all the grown-ups whose inner-kids have been silent… bring them out to play!