I just returned from a camping trip with some of my best friends and their adorable children.
I make it a point to regularly challenge myself to experience pieces of life as though I were a young child.
Everything is amazing!
Everything is new!
Everything can be fun!
Everything is important!
The five year old boy pictured to the right provides an endless stream of comic relief, all day long, whether anyone is listening or not. He enjoys verbalizing his unfiltered thoughts loudly and to such audiences as "you guys" and "everybody", whether or not anyone is near to hear him.
The above photo shows a moment where he was pulling himself up a treacherous sand cliff, while exfoliating his belly in the process. Afterward, he stood up and yelled at us, "Look at me, I'm disgusting!" And then promptly ran off screaming, pumping his little arms, off toward the sea.
It's too easy to become jaded. After we've experienced something, we think we know how it goes, and we detach. We expect, we disengage, and we begin to multitask and become less involved in the moments that are our lives.
Have you watched a child engaged in a task? Then you know that face of focus and concentration, brow furrowed or tongue slightly out. Nothing else matters in the world. And then jubilation when it's accomplished! It may be as important a task as opening a jar lid, folding a blanket, or throwing a marshmallow into the fire to burn. The joy in the accomplishment is great, but even more important is being engaged in the process.
Our lives are a series of moments we live. Life is right now. And right now. And the next right now. If we go around in a fog of routine, then very few of the moments of our lives matter. Memories are not formed; we haven't taken the time to appreciate, or the effort to notice the small joys in every moment. But if we live more moments with some child-like enthusiasm, everything is the best thing!
Look at that bird, it's incredible! It flies and is alive all on its own.
Wow, did you feel that dip in the road we just drove over? Whee--so much fun.
The sunshine is so warm and nice, this is the BEST DAY EVER!
This is no "piece of driftwood", this is my laser-shooting bear-hunting staff.
If you don't appreciate the life you have, it will be gone before you know it. Acknowledge each moment of life for the miracle it is. If you need some help, just spend some time observing children. If nothing else, it will give you a few more chuckles in your day.
Speaking of that, I'll leave you with some of my favorite quotes from the delightful five-year-old pictured above: