We could learn a lot from Peter Pan and some of his little buddies.
Minus the whole green tights thing.
Being a grownup isn’t always easy. I think I had a false perception of what it would be like to be on my own and have responsibilities. I didn’t necessarily consider that bills and work and driving and grocery shopping and friendships and other relationships were things that would be challenging. Back then, they were just words with bigger concepts than I actually understood.
And then reality hit me.
I know I don’t always act like I’m a complete adult—I still color (not in those new fancy grownup coloring books), I sometimes eat dessert before my meal, I don’t know how to cook (though supposedly I’m in the process of learning), I have no idea what it’s like to be married or raise children, I still enjoy Disney movies and ABC Family TV shows, and I really like to climb trees and fences and whatever else presents itself as an option. But I like not forgetting what it’s like to forget the troubles for a while.
Over the weekend, my friend Maddie (who’s been my friend since we were 3 and actual little kids) and I went to walk at a park and enjoy a rare sunny 70-something-degree day in late January. We chatted about real-life stuff and things we’ve been dealing with lately, and it was good to discuss important matters and reality. But then we went to the playground, and we let go of all of that for just a bit. We hopped on the swings, and that’s something I recommend everyone of any age does every once in a while. It’s OK if you think you look silly. You don’t. And if you actually do, who truly cares? Swinging is fun—end of story.
After that, we revived our monkey bars skills and then climbed some giant spiderweb tree thing that starts to shake when you reach the top. Obviously that led us to starting singing “Spiderwebs” by the great 90s rockers No Doubt. Then we headed for the exit as little ones all around us ran from one spot to another without any regard for anything occurring in the world surrounding them and without fears or stresses bogging them down. I saw one kid trip and stand back up before continuing to run as if nothing had happened. I couldn’t help but giggle a little (but not because he tripped).
Little kids just get it.
There are so many things we face in life on a daily basis that I wouldn’t really classify as “fun.” Days will seem unending, tasks at work will seem tedious, people will get on our nerves at times, normal routines will become mundane, traffic will just keep piling up until we want to scream, spending money on things we don’t want to spend money on will become another annoyance, and so many other things can get in the way of the feeling a person experiences on a playground. It’s easy to start to feel like the dog who says he “can’t adult today.”
I think it’s important to forget you’re an adult sometimes—to let go of the anxieties and pressures weighing down upon you. They’ll probably still be there for you whether you worry about them constantly or cast them aside for a few precious moments. It’s refreshing to run like Phoebe, climb trees, play on playgrounds, eat snow cones, get Gatorade mustaches, make wishes on dandelions, or do whatever you need to do to remember that it’s perfectly fine to have innocent fun.
You can gain great wisdom from kids—people who don’t even have degrees or know how to do taxes (or let TurboTax do taxes for them).
Escape to Neverland every so often, and the world will be here waiting for you when you put the pixie dust away for a while.