“Don’t you love flying kites at the beach?” a friend asks.
“Yes! It’s my favorite!” I enthuse in reply.
Then I realize I haven’t flown a kite on the beach in years.
This might be bearable if it was an isolated example, but I can think of several more favorites that I haven’t done in a year or more. A hot bubble bath. A game of Frisbee. Homemade root beer floats. A Mary Kay facial. These aren’t unreachable goals. What in the world am I waiting for?
Making wishes on dandelion seeds. Looking for shapes in the clouds. Having pie and coffee on the deck with my husband. Walking through a garden. Taking a road trip without a plan just to see where we end up. Swimming at night. I love all these things, but I can’t remember the last time I did them.
When I was a child, I did all my favorite things without hesitation. Picking buttercups, looking for four leaf clovers, drawing on the sidewalk with chalk, and blowing bubbles were standard fare on many a summer day. You know what? That still sounds like a superb use of time to me.
I do have fun, but it is of the typical adult variety. I go shopping with a friend, catch a movie, or schedule a lunch date. I enjoy these, and I’m not proposing to put an end to them. But perhaps my life would be a bit sweeter, and far more satisfying, if I remembered the little pleasures in life. There was a time when this came naturally to me. I don’t remember scheduling “make daisy chains” into my calendar as a child. Yes, I have responsibilities – but I could easily spend time each day enjoying one of these neglected favorites.
My son was reading over my shoulder as I wrote this, and he didn’t hesitate to address the situation. “I have a Frisbee – let’s go! I like root beer floats – let’s make ‘em!” My first impulse was to explain why I couldn’t do that right now. That’s when I realized just how pervasive my problem is.
I have lost the art of spontaneity.
It’s time to do something about it. Now, I’ve got to be honest. It’s hotter than Hades, and I’m choking on the humidity today. I’m not sure how I feel about a game of Frisbee right now. But a root beer float and maybe a cool swim in a friend’s pool this evening?
I could get down with that.