Friday, April 30, 2010


So, I came home from work today feeling tired and cranky and generally ill-natured.  I think my old bad attitude was sneaking up on me a little bit.  I really didn't feel like interacting with any members of my family, I didn't feel like doing anything productive, I didn't feel like moving.  After some amount of wasted time, I started a boring and uninspired blog about how it is important to sometimes just sit and do nothing.

But then, I was saved from myself and my negativity.  It was the barbarians that did it.  I was really all for having the whole family veg out in front of various screens for several hours.  The boys, however, were not quite with me on this plan.  They wanted out, and they wanted me out with them.

If you have children, you know that they can be quite persistent when they want something.  My boys are no exception, in fact I think they have a particular talent for persistence.  When they want something, they don't let it go, and they work as a team to keep the momentum going.  So, luckily for you, I finally walked away from the boring nothing blog I was writing, and went outside.

An amazing thing happened.  The moment I was out in the fresh air, my rotten attitude began to lift.  We found and caught a toad, and then had to search for toad food (consisting of worms and slugs), and began digging holes, and searching under rocks and logs.  This eventually led to playing ball, and riding bikes, and a great afternoon right there in our own yard.  Before I knew it, several hours had passed, and it was time to move on to our next planned event.

Thinking back, I wonder what was keeping me from just going outside and enjoying the beautiful afternoon.  I think that as adults we something feel so overwhelmed by things needing to be done that we forget to simply enjoy ourselves sometimes.  My theory is that the negative mood, and lack of motivation have to do with feeling overwhelmed by what we perceive as obligations - and this leads to a kind of shut down that leaves us neither accomplishing tasks nor enjoying life.

I am thinking that the solution is creating a balance.  Leaving piles of tasks unfinished isn't good for the psyche.  I think it leaves us feeling unhappy with our living space and environment, and leaves us feeling overwhelmed with what needs to get done.  At the same time, finding no joy in daily living leaves us feeling dissatisfied with our lives and leaves us spiritually restless.

So, like I said - a balance must be achieved.  We must feel accomplished in different areas of our lives, but we must have time for simple play and enjoyment without a particular agenda or planned outcome.  Like children, we must do things for fun simply because fun feels good.  Without having some of both, we cannot find contentment with our lives.

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