After a long weekend I returned to work not really ready to go. It was hot both indoors and outdoors, my little fan wasn’t cutting it, and I’m against a deadline to clear everything up before my office moves to a new and improved suite. I needed a silver lining today and I was reminded that no matter what sits in front of me on my desk, what awaits me on my kitchen table I have one thing going for me that all of my misfortune has forgotten: a playful and grateful heart.

I have been so focused lately on the negatives that I neglected to remember to play. I worried about how to pay my next bill, what can we make with what is left in the freezer, or what I can do to help ease the discomfort of my dog’s ear infection without taking him to the doctor. I tormented myself with my health, my husband’s health, the presidential election. So stressed was I that I forgot to look at life with playful eyes, with a more playful spirit.

Sometimes we are so darn busy to grow up that we forget to play. We think that growing up means there isn’t time for jumping in puddles, climbing a tree, sliding down a slide, or playing in the mud. We think that growing up means no more dashing through the sprinklers, building ships with Legos, dressing up for Halloween and going trick-o-treating. We forget to understand that we only grow old because we forget to play.

What does it mean to live life with playful eyes?

Alduos Huxley probably said it best, “The secret of a genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age.” Be playful. Joke around. Laugh out loud. Tease and be teased in all the right ways. Cause a little trouble. The best person to hang out with is someone you know who loves to be adventurous but understands how to be a grown up when it matters. The best person to love is someone lively with playful tendencies that make you laugh so hard you pee your pants. The best person to befriend is the person who dances with the dog, talks with strangers just to entice a smile, and talks with eyes that dance.

There is a reason a child’s laugh is an amazing sound. I dare you to search Youtube for “babies laughing” and tell me you can stop yourself from laughing along. Children know the truth. We “grown ups” often think just because we have entered the world of adulthood we know the way life is to be lived. Sure, we know how to balance a checkbook, make a healthy balanced dinner, pick up the dog’s poop, but that’s just living. Who wants to live with just responsibilities in life? I sure as heck don’t.

Be the change maker this world needs to be. Dance under the stars, stop thinking and taking things so seriously. Eat Scooby Snacks with Nutella because they are flippin’ amazeballs. Run in a field and pick wild flowers for your mom, sister, grandma or girl. Play with the sparkle in your eyes of amazement, amusement, enjoyment. It will get you through stress. It will get you through heartache. It will get you through a boring day at work. Find your inner child and have a playful heart, playful spirit. Above all else, just remember to play.

Get some dirt under your nails. Life is meant to be fun. Let’s run wild together. xoxo