Ever watch little kids play? They put themselves into it so completely. No self-consciousness, no worry about what others are thinking. They totally become the princess or the monster or the robot. They run and shriek and laugh without reserve. I love watching them (ok, for a while.)
I wonder when it is that we lose that ability to just play and have fun wholeheartedly. Probably when adults start saying things like “OK, settle down now, you’re being too silly.” And, as adults, we know that there are times and places for certain behaviors, and times that we need to rein in the kids. But sadly, that reining in results in something being lost in us as we grow up. We stop being able to just have fun for fun’s sake without thinking “Am I laughing too loudly?” “Am I making a silly face?” “If I do this will someone think I look strange?”
One of the most memorable fun times I ever had was playing Cranium at a choir retreat. The game started with about half a dozen people and kept gaining players as it got noisier and funnier. It must have had two dozen by the end, and it was in full uninhibited mode, having attracted the people who were willing and able to throw themselves into the craziness. What I noticed, though, was that at least an equal number were watching from the sidelines, not willing to let their guard down enough to be part of the fun, just taking the secondary enjoyment of being spectators.
It’s taken me most of my life to be one of the Cranium players instead of one of the watchers. I love to have fun, and I always have, but it has only been recently that I’ve gotten good enough with myself to be OK with having fun and not worrying what someone else might think. I don’t mean it’s all right to be inappropriate, I just am not going to worry about if “they” think I look silly.
One thing cancer lets you know – life is too short to worry about “them”. It’s too short to worry about anything. I’m not going to live from the sidelines.