One day, several years ago, I came upon a park. As soon as I saw the swings, I had an undeniable impulse to run to them. I sat down and was transported back in time to my carefree playground days. As I pumped my legs to get higher and higher, I felt the same exhilaration I did as a child. Then, I leaned back, closed my eyes and gave into the dizzying feeling of weightlessness, just as I did when I was young. And I giggled with abandon.
Ever since that day, whenever the opportunity to go on the swings arises, I take it.
Recently, I’ve also been known to find a friend and convince her to clasp hands with me and spin and spin and spin until we almost fall down. The pure joy that comes from this simple activity cannot be measured. That’s why I created this challenge, to allow our adult selves to revisit our childhood bliss.
When I imagined this challenge, I assumed I would ride my yellow bicycle to a nearby park and go on the swings. Maybe I would find a friend to spin, spin, spin and laugh, laugh, laugh with me. Instead I went to the beach to practice for an upcoming volleyball tournament.
I suppose playing beach volleyball could be considered playful enough, but not for me. I didn’t want to experience competitive adult playfulness with all its pressure and judgement. I wanted unadulterated child’s play.
Thankfully, one of the married couples on the island brought their daughter to the beach. It’s always easier to be silly and carefree in the presence of children. The little girl, Emma, was building a sand castle, when she suddenly decided to roll down the hill in the sand.
Even when I was a kid, I didn’t really like getting sand everywhere, but as soon as I saw Emma rolling around without a care in the world, I decided to join her. Despite all the sand sticking to my entire body, it was fun! So fun, in fact, that I wanted to find a steeper hill. No such luck, but I continued playing in the sand with Emma until it was time to go back and play with the adults.
Today’s challenge reminded me that as much as I love playful moments, I have no desire to be a child again, nor do I lament a lost youth. Maybe because I know that, whenever I want or need to, I can go find a swing set.
Now, before I end this post, I must say HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to both my mother and my “other mother.” Thank you for being such beautiful and caring women and allowing me to have a childhood filled with love and joy. I know how truly blessed I am for this.
What playful thing did you do today? And did you get your mother to join you?
To see what’s coming up next, check the 30-day Challenge List .