Chase your Childhood Dream

I just finished reading this book:

 

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Title is misleading. Subtitle is not. 

Some “gems” I gleamed from this book were that we can do ourselves great harm by not creating space for good and wonderful activities and things that bring us joy. So yesterday, after Church, I tried it out. My husband and I stopped at a globally-known chain of coffee (it’s a very long chain, they’ve yet to break it) and we ordered Chocolate Peppermint Mocha and Gingerbread Lattes which to our delight were “Buy-one-get-one-free.” BOGO, the tune my bargain loving heart sings to! The barista asked us, exactly one minute after the promotion started “Did you know this was happening??” to which I replied “No!” with a super-duper cheesy grin. I was, in that moment, quite happy and not feeling guilty about my indulgent treat. To top it off, we went for an hour-long leisurely stroll between trees and next to parks and old railroad trellises. There’s a reason hipsters are so darn obsessed with old railroad bridges and such. I wonder if there is a word for being nostalgic for the steam age?

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Yes, I do realize I have nostalgia for the steam age. Photo cred: Jesse Larson

There was a time where I forgot to simply enjoy life. To take moments and savor them like well-brewed coffee.  I’d been running in so many directions and felt pushed by those on sidelines that I expected to cheer me on. I sat in a doctor’s office trying to figure out if it was flu-fatigue-fever-or-You’ve got to take a break. The Doctor simply told me to go home and find a picture of myself as a child and to ask myself, “Would I be this hard on that kid?” and the answer, of course, is “No! that cute kid deserves compassion and empathy, and maybe a good game of tag in the park.” Then it sinks in: You’re still that kid.

At one of my meetings for AmeriCorps last year, we would always start with a question of the week and one of my coworkers brought up the idea of “What did you love as a kid that now you’ve abandoned?” Drama. Piano lessons. Wearing costumes and singing for hours. Checking closets for secret passages to Narnia.

“We can take pride in our discipline, even if our discipline is making us spiritually sick.” –Gary Thomas, Pure Pleasure. 

To be honest, there are many times I forget to simply enjoy life. To enjoy it as a gift from a creator who deeply cares. I think of the people around the world who are out watching sports games, reading books at cafes, and shopping with friends when chaos intervenes. None of us are exempt from the echoes of loss or from the rapturing joy of cheering in a crowd. Both sides of the coin can leave us reeling .

When I think of the people I don’t get to see anymore I wish for more time spent in the simple pleasure of a warm cup of tea or an impromptu walk spent in their company. 

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I have a soft spot for moss. Photo cred: Jesse Larson. 

Protest the injustices of the world by living life abundantly and creatively. My friend just taught a class on floral design at a local shop in town. It’s amazing to me that with her hands she can take a pile of assorted blooms, twigs, and greenery and arrange them into a masterpiece that so beautiful my fingers start twitching with the need to paint it.

Maybe a friend needs you to break down the clouds in their life with your kind words in the same careful and patient arrangement needed for a bouquet. Perhaps. Or break dance with your fellow missionaries on the streets of Argentina to celebrate “Well, done my good and faithful servant” like my friend J after months of service.

If you need me, I’ll be checking my closet for Narnia. You’ll know I’m successful if the blogposts stop.

 

-K

 

 

 

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