I spend too much of my time thinking that if I were a successful writer sitting in a beach house with a high metabolism and all the snacks in the world, I would be happier than I am today.
Or if I could just get that new house, or that blue car, or that new client, then I’d be even happier.
Spoiler Alert: It’s not true.
Dolphins get it, and I don’t mean the football team . . .
Today I posted a video of surfers and dolphins in the ocean. While surfers sat in uncomfortable wet suits waiting to master the perfect wave, the dolphins pierced the surface of the water and caught air, flipping playfully.
I didn’t smile when I watched the surfers, but I smiled when I watched the dolphins.
They hadn’t invested thousands of dollars in the right equipment. They hadn’t taken classes to learn a new skill. They weren’t competing with anybody around them.
The dolphins simply took the body they’d been given, applied their natural skills and had a blast.
I don’t think we play enough . . .
We don’t have to turn play into recess, which ruined many a childhood with competitive games such as Dodgeball or Steal the Bacon. But I do believe that we need to exert some physical energy in a non-competitive way, like swinging on swings or throwing balls or doing cartwheels or dancing.
I realize that if most of us tried cartwheels right now we’d pull a hammy, but we could do something. Walk in the sun, throw water balloons, color in a coloring book.
It would be awesome if each of us could have a big box of crayons at work (the cool one with the sharpener). We could color when we’re stressed out, or when we need a creative idea. I would select the Hunter Green crayon, which was my favorite as a child.
Whatever play you choose, try to do it . . .
If we allowed thirty minutes of “play” every day, our lives would change. We’d find joy in the moment. We’d be too relaxed to get angry at the colleague who insists on putting garlicky frozen meals in the microwave at lunch. We’d feel too good physically to cram in another donut.
We would become the dolphins . . .
Let’s celebrate the present a little more, and wait for perfect a little less.
Let’s choose to jump out of the waves. Since I can’t swim and will be weighed down by multiple life jackets, my jump might not be as impressive, but I’m going to give it a shot.
Because I believe that, like the dolphins, we have everything we need to be happy.