Last week the kids and I visited my parents in my hometown. I drove the children around, passing by the high school (where my parents, my brother, and I all attended), the football fields where I cheered in Pee Wee league, the softball and baseball fields where we spent long hot summer days. We drove through my old neighborhood, and I remembered riding my bike on the roads, never worried about those pesky grown-ups in their cars.
There's something magical about childhood, from elementary school on up through the teenage years. There's so much hope, so many dreams. The long days that, at the time, seemed so boring, now appear full of possibilities and adventure. Last week, back in my home town with the fresh eyes of a visitor, I became enamored with life as it was.
But I'm not talking about nostalgia for nostalgia's sake. I'm happy to be approaching 30. This is the 21st century, and while I sometimes fret about the pace of life now, there's no slowing it down for good.
Rather, as I sat on that deck watching my kids play baseball in the yard, I wondered how to bring the good things about a healthy childhood--hope, wonder, dreams--into the hectic pace of putting food on the table and washing behind little ears. I came up with a short, beginner list:
- Turn off the smartphone. This is not new advice. I'm not the only one saying it. I also spend a lot of time on my smartphone, trying to integrate the realities of family and career. They aren't bad things. However, I have found that when I put it down and look around me, there are so many amazing things to see and experience. Some of them are even Tweet-able.
- Breathe deep. In trying to keep up with daily tasks, do you ever find that you don't take deep breaths? Close your eyes right now and breathe deep the provision of God.
- Play. Baseball, soccer, hopscotch, dress up. This one can be particularly easy if you have kids because you can just hop in on their games.
- Look at the sky. Really, just look up. Or if you can't drag yourself away from your computer, check out NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day. I double-dog dare you to not be awed.
I'm just beginning to think on this concept of "living full." Summer always seems like a good time, right?
Do you have any suggestions for slowing down and living a full life?
*In case you didn't notice, I haven't posted in a while. With summer time upon us and some big life plans in the works, it seems I am officially an "occasional blogger." Head over to the subscribe box on the right hand column and type in your email to guarantee you don't miss a post!