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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

To Be a Kid Again

This past weekend I went up to northern Wisconsin to visit my family and help my mom baby-sit my two nieces, ages 6 months and 3 years (see adorable pictures below). I absolutely love these visits! Maybe it's selfish, but there is just something about the pure and innocent love of a child. I love pulling up in the drive way and the 3 year old is playing on her swing set. She looks up, sees the car and her face just lights up like the best thing in the world has just happened to her. She jumps off the swing and runs at me with full force, slightly clumsy, but as hard as she can yelling "Auntie Laura" (or what comes out more as "Auntie Woda!!"). She throws her arms around me in a big hug, gives me kiss, looks at me and says "Where's Uncle Andoo??". She quickly forgets about her missing uncle who is yes, still studying for the Bar exam ... and moves quickly to "Luke??" our Puggle.

I want to know, why it's so hard for adults to be that genuinely excited about life. What happened to all of that excitement? I mean no offense to any of my aunts, but I definitely never have that reaction when I see any of them anymore, but maybe I should! Maybe we all need to be a little more exuberant, let our guard down and show some more emotion! Who cares if you look a little silly? Someone may think that you look like an idiot as a grown adult, exhibiting childlike behavior, but deep down I bet they are wondering what you see in life that is so great, and why they don't see it too.

I'm an odd duck sometimes, I like to march to the beat of my own drum. It's taken me awhile to get there, but I'm there. I remember high school and college and how mean people can be because you like things that are a little different, but I've learned over the years that what's "cool" isn't what you enjoy, but how you enjoy it. Yep, I like to knit ... all the time ..., and I play the flute and think it's cool that I play in the church choir. I don't like to go out and party. My idea of a fun Friday night is either curled up with a book or cuddled in with a movie and a pizza. I don't like to got to big concerts with loud music and people tightly crammed together, but I love a night out to the symphony or to see a musical. I spend my lazy summer Saturdays pulling weeds, and enjoy it. Every year I redesign my garden and flower beds to get them just right. I'm an engineer by design, so yes sketches on graph paper with dimensions are always included.

I get excited beyond belief when I have a new idea about a project. So excited that my husband just rolls his eyes ... he knows what's coming. I'll talk about all my ideas with rapid pace - which only emphasizes my already fast paced Wisconsin dialect - then I'll pull out all the supplies and work with furry until my project is complete. I ignore all outside distractions and conversation and making dinner are just out of the question completely, so fend for yourself. He knows that by now, and I think actually enjoys my zeal for a new project.

So here's what I've learned. Get excited about life! Yep, when I was performing in the Woman's Club benefit show a few months ago, I was relaxing between numbers knitting socks ... in my Cinderella costume. Did people find that odd?? Very odd. Was I a little self conscious about it? Sure. Did I look happy while doing it? Yep. Was I still able to be social and knit at the same time? Absolutely - and I think this took me from being odd to being super talented in their eyes. They actually looked at me and said, "Wow, I could never do that..."

Moral of my story is be who you are. Do what you like to do, be sure of who you are, and never be embarrassed to show some child like excitement for life - the rest of the world is secretly jealous.

Until the next time ...
The girl behind the Lama
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Waterrose said...

Wonderful advice! I think we need a moment of being "childlike" at least once per day! You described the perfect prescription!

Jesse Dornan said...

Children have a fresh and exciting outlook on life! Great Post!!!!!!!!!! Every adult needs to read this!

Melissa said...

I've noticed that I'm a lot happier all around when I take a little bit of time to appreciate the simple pleasures in life...No matter how 'uncool' that makes me. (We all know that as enginerds we are limited in the amount of 'coolness' we can have anyway so I might as well enjoy it)

And like I tell the younger kids - 'you're not half as cool as you think you are' so you might as well enjoy yourself with all the quirky things you like to do.

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