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Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013: Year of the Kid

Well... here we are in 2013. Hmm... So much has happened, so much has changed... so much has stayed the same.  I don't make New Year's resolutions- too much pressure.  But I have resolved to make 2013 "year of the kid" for me. It's a personal choice. It might not be for everyone. But it feels right to me.

The idea came to me "out of the blue" the other day. That's the spot from which all good ideas come from so I paid attention and put some more thought to the idea.  I was sort of thinking about that "letting go of roots: safety and security" post from the other day. What occured to me was that the idea, or at least the worry and concern, about safety and security, for me at least, was a very adult idea. I'm sure this is different if your childhood wasn't pretty carefree, but in my memories, mine was, and I really don't remember worrying about whether or not I was "safe and secure".  I didn't think about safety when I was the first one to try out the ski jump we made.  I landed in the brook with my skies still on, but for a brief moment I really enjoyed the flight! And that's the part I remember. I didn't worry about what I was going to "be" when I grew up, I just felt pretty secure being me. I didn't worry about not having 50 cents I really enjoyed selecting what I could buy for 25 cents. Hmm...

So how did all this "heavy adult" stuff come in to weigh me down and plant deep roots?  I considered that the other day when it was obvious to anyone and everyone that my kitchen floor really really needed to be cleaned!  I was kind of grumbling away to myself when I thought about playing "Let's Pretend".   Here's the thing.  We used to pretend we had houses.  And one of the things we used to do in our pine bough pretend houses was sweep the floor. Hmm...  We wanted to have real floors that we could sweep and clean.  Seems as though I have my childhood wish. Well that got me thinking! 

We also used to play pretend with an Easy Bake Oven.  Whenever someone got a new one it was great because you could actually make some stuff that seemed edible back then.  But once the packages were gone we just had to pretend we were cooking something and imagine how delicious it would be.  Well.. now I have the real version of what we were playing pretend over.  I can make whatever I want, when I want!!  And I don't have to make those teeny tiny versions or wait for the light bulb to heat up- I can make a really big cake if I want!

I started to really look around at my life and I realized that I have an awful lot of the things that I used to only pretend I had.  And I realized that a lot of things I now consider "chores" that "have to be done" were the very things I used to only wish I could do.  Maybe it's just me, but that was a pretty powerful revelation to me.  It was kind of a scream to "wake up and lighten up"!!  So I did.

I cleaned my floor, and the bathroom even and actually enjoyed the process.  This was exactly the real version of what I had pretended in the past.  Somehow, when I do those "chores" with the mind of a kid, it's actually fun.  You have to try this to believe it. It's kind of like you go outside your body and watch yourself playing.  I know you're thinking I'm crazy right about now- but I dare you to try it!! I double dare you!

Once I got going on this theme the world shifted for me.  I realized that I can now stay up as late as I want a reading a book if that's what I want to do.  I can choose to read it by flashlight if I want.  So I did!  I can actually eat what I want, when I want. So I did. I went out and played in the snow by brushing off my car and I didn't even put on a snowsuit! Liberating!!

What I didn't do was "clean out my closet".  Instead, I played dress-up with a friend. It's a totally different experience.  Your friend sits on your bed while you go through your closet throwing out things that don't fit, are just plain ridiculous, or no longer should be seen in private let alone public. You try a few things on.  You giggle while you do this.  Your friend inherits a few items that actually work for her.  She will suggest you throw out things you might have tried to hang on to.  She'll suggest you keep some things because she'll tell you they actually look good on you and that will boost your spirit a bit. You laugh and talk about "stuff" and before you know it- your closet it actually clean and you have some bags of stuff that someone else can play dress up with.  Hmm...

I had a slightly different version of this idea awhile ago when I wrote a book review about things learned in Kindergarten  But this time what I'm talking about is reconnecting with your inner child and doing whatever it was that you used to want to do but couldn't because you were a kid ow whatever it was you really did like to do back then. It might be playing with the crayons again. It's definitely about being "the boss of me", 
because that's what you really are now.  Wow!

It's about an attitude shift I think.  2013 is the year I'm going to reconnect with the real me.  That's the me that had a pretty clear idea of what I want to be. But this time I'm going to "be" that kid while I "do" just that. I'll still do my homework, but I'll do it knowing that once it's done I get to go out and play. Sometimes, on a nice warm day, I'll play hooky just because I can. I'll use my easy-bake-oven and make whatever I want to.

I'm also going to feel like a kid.  When I'm happy I'm going to really feel that happiness, when I'm angry I'm going to feel that too and if something makes me sad- I'm going to cry.  I'm not going to hold in the tears, hold back telling my friends when I don't like what they are doing, or play when I don't feel like playing. I'll do all those adult things I really wanted to do, but I'm going to feel like a kid while I do them.

When people are practicing the Law of Attraction, or the suggestions from The Secret, they sometimes create something called a vision board.  You put on this board the things that you would like to bring into your world.  Maybe it's a new house, or a pair of shoes, or your book published. That vision board never quite felt right to me.  Now I know why.  In my opinion, it isn't about things that I want. I've got lots of things, there are some things I still think I want. But it would seem, of the things that I do have, I've turned a lot of them into roots that need attention, constant watering, and are a lot of work to maintain. Some of my things have become chores.  It isn't things that I want.  I understand that now. It's the feeling that I thought having those things would give me when I played pretend.

I have a cork board.  I guess it is a vision board now. It has three very colorful pieces of paper on it now cut out in fun shapes.  On one shape it says "Be a Kid".  On another it says "Feel like a kid" on the third it says "Think like a kid".  I had fun making this board.  I used my markers, I made my own lines, I got to choose the colors I wanted. I didn't ask anyone else what they thought. I played by myself.  I took the "to do lists" and the reminders and the "must accomplish" things off my cork board.  I don't remember making lists when I was a kid. Not fun.

Any time the heaviness of the world intrudes and  Ilose the idea of being a kid I hope I will glance at my board and remember how much fun it is to feel like a kid with the abilities of an adult. Yippee!!

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