lamiki

on life, ambitions, and dreams

Flower

Playtime and Feelin’ Electric

Back in the day, a friend tried to change the phrase “let’s hang out” to “let’s play.” We were teenagers and pushing our way into adulthood, yet we latched on to selective sentiments of simplicity and innocence.

The term “let’s play” didn’t stick. We moved on. We grew up.

As an adult, we get pulled in so many directions. But when was the last time you just played? And I’m talking played in the sense of silliness. Playing in the way that it’s not for professional development or a hobby, but for fun. Because you want to, because you need to? Played to the point where you laughed at your own laughter?

A few weeks ago I met a friend and her daughters at a playground for coffee, vitamin D, and some much needed friend time. As, we, the adults sat and chitchatted, I watched the small one climb a large rope-ladder and finish with the largest smile I’ve ever seen. I listened to her powerful giggles as she slid down the slide.

Energy in kids is electric. If you could convert one child’s laugh into electricity, how much power would it emit?

I believe adults can produce a similar amount of energy but most are too scared to open up and enjoy themselves. Too scared to feel, to receive, to turn that energy into something larger than themselves.

I’m one of those adults. I get self conscious about my feelings way too often. I may be at a movie or event that’s supposed to entertain and help me escape reality. I may feel happy. Really happy, but then look around and no one is as openly happy as I am. So instead of embracing those feelings and enjoying them, I’ll “dumb” them down based on how I’m gauging everyone else is feeling. And that’s stupid. Going with the flow is really stupid.

Even as I write this, I’m torn. The mature side of me knows that people need to monitor their feelings so that they don’t self-destruct and offend others. While the other part of me wants us to find the balance between embracing our feelings and turning them into actionable passion.

I’m an emotional person and I let my emotions rule me way more than they should. My “feelings” encourage me to bite off more than I can chew and perform better than I ever have in my life. It invites heartache, stress, and give me an excuse to do something that only the momentum of feeling amazing could.

The ability to feel is a strength. And learning how to turn those feelings–of glee, of excitement, of curiosity, of anxiety, of stress, of anger–into energy that drives the flow of my work forward is important.

Kids feel what they feel, when they feel it, because they feel that way. I want to follow the lead of my friend’s girls on the playground: embrace feeling as a good thing and put an end to feeling socially awkward and apologetic about it. And dedicate more time to play.

Photo Credit: Balakov

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  • Kelley Picasso

    Ah, Laura, I know precisely, exquisitely how you *feel*. Thank you for sharing this post with us. Let’s play! 🙂

    ::hugs::

  • TroyJMorris

    I was hoping you'd bring up Monsters, Inc. when you mentioned the child laughter into electricity. Bravo!

  • Monsters, Inc. is one of my all-time favorite movies. When I saw my friend's daughters playing and heard them laughing, that was the first thing I thought of. I wonder what event inspired the writers to make the connection between laughing and electricity?

  • LOVE THIS. LOOOOVE IT.

    Y'know what? I almost always say “when are we gonna play?” or “let's play soon!” when I make plans with friends. Awesome. Let's bring it back. 🙂

    You're such a thoughtful, bright light. So glad we've connected. 🙂

  • Cali just directed me over to this particular post because I commented how I have ALWAYS said “Let's play” or “When is our next play date,” to my friends (yes, even to this day). I probably won't stop and I love it, because it's all about playing and enjoying and indulging.

    What a beautiful post, I love it!

  • Aw, Cali, you make me smile. That's so great that you use “let's play.” I honestly thought that saying died out with age and since it didn't stick with that one friend. What does it mean? I need new playmates 🙂

  • I'm glad Cali pointed you in this direction, thanks for stopping by 🙂 As I said to Cali, I assumed “let's play” died out with age and since it didn't stick with that one friend–guess I need to find new playmates 🙂

    But you're right, playing/socializing/fun-time is all about enjoying and indulging. So why don't we call it what it is?

  • I will play with you and your ladies any time, any day (pending adult commitments). And I'm very much looking forward to playing with you this weekend 🙂

  • Beautiful post. The world needs more people to embrace feeling and just play. I'll follow your lead.

    Thanks

  • Some people say it's not good to let your emotions lead you. I say my emotions are a big part of who I am as a person, so bring 'em on!

  • Thanks for information, I'll always keep updated here!