The summer is finally here, and it is the perfect time for us to break from our usual routines and enjoy our lives more fully. It’s important for us to plan some downtime where we can rest and recharge — even if it’s only for a short while. This summer, I’m planning to do exactly that. I’m taking a break from both my blog and my circling events in order to go within and renew my spirit. I know from past experience that when I take this much-needed downtime, it enables me to feel refreshed and re-energized when I return to my activities. That’s why downtime is so important. It helps us not only recharge, but it also helps us see things in a whole new light. So, I invite everyone to experiment with some downtime this summer. On sunny afternoons, take walks on the beach, read good books, or hike in the woods. Break free from your usual routines and have some fun. I know we all have responsibilities, but we can’t let them weigh us down. We have to learn to let go and laugh more — to be more like children, carefree and spontaneous.
Children know how to have fun. They run around the backyard with reckless abandon playing tag with their friends, they laugh hysterically if someone tells a funny joke, and they swing on the swings as high as possible in hopes that they might touch the sky. Staying in the moment, they don’t worry about whether their rooms are clean or whether they have homework to do. They love their downtime where having fun is their top priority, and that’s the way they want it to stay.
So, what happens to that enthusiasm and excitement for life as we get older? Where does our desire to have fun go? And how do we lose it so easily? In a word: responsibility. Once we become adults, most of us take our responsibilities very seriously. We know we have to work hard and provide for ourselves as well as for our families. We want to live the American dream, and that often involves making sacrifices along the way. Many of us work long hours, raise our children, mow our yards, cook our meals, clean our houses - and that’s only a fraction of our responsibilities. Expecting a lot of ourselves, we don’t often have much free time. So, we put our heads down and charge forward — putting one foot in front of the other, leaving little room for fun.
This summer, what if we switch things up a bit? What if we actually act like children and prioritize having fun? This can make a big difference in our lives. When we spend time with our family and friends doing the things we love like watching movies, playing board games, or even rock climbing, it can bring us great joy. We are able to laugh and let go, seeing the value of staying in the moment. Life doesn’t have to be such a struggle where we are bogged down with responsibilities all the time. Sometimes it’s just about finding joy in the little things. We need to grab every moment and live life fully — embracing fun and making it a priority in our lives. When we do that, we might be amazed at how much happier our lives become.
So this week and this summer, become like a child again and find some downtime. Look at the world with new eyes and see if you can make having fun a priority. Take a day off of work and do something you love: ride on a roller coaster and throw your hands up in the air as often as you can, go out to your garden and pick your favorite flowers to make a lovely bouquet, or paint a picture with finger paints getting your hands as messy as you can. Stay in the moment and have fun. You have responsibilities, but don’t let them take over every aspect of your life. Spend some downtime renewing your spirit. Laugh out loud and see how much better you feel when you let loose and have a good time. Call a friend and go to a concert or grab your partner and kids and make s’mores in the backyard while gazing up at the stars. Live your life as fully as you can — just like children do.