Take off the armor of adulthood and re-discover the joy of your inner child.

Take off the armor of adulthood and re-discover the joy of your inner child.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Luca Di Giovine

The holiday season is special. Whatever holidays you celebrate, take a trip down memory lane to reflect on some of your most precious moments from your youth.

How did you celebrate these occasions and who were the people that joined in on the fun?

Although many people and organizations put their heads down to finish the year strong, this is also often a time when we extend our days off with those we’ve saved.

With these extended blocks of time, we can more easily remove our armor of adulthood and play like we did as kids.


How and in what ways will you shed the armor of adulthood this holiday season?

What joyful activities will help you re-discover your playful side?

If some help is needed, look to the little ones in your life for some coaching.

Adults need recess too

“Adults need recess too.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Proxyclick Visitor Management System

On most weekday, I get to have recess with my friends between 2 and 3 p.m..

We all enjoy playing table tennis, which gives us a chance to kick back, catch up, and of course, compete.

In years past, I always considered play as an unnecessary indulgence and something you only do when all the work was done.

Sadly, for most of us, it never is.

This attitude has made me a pretty serious guy and a bit of a fuddy-duddy.  All work and no play definitely made me pretty dull and telling me to lighten up definitely didn’t work.
Thank goodness for the coaching I’ve received from my grandchildren over the years.  As a pop-pop with a bit of extra time, I have been able to ease off the gas pedal of work and see play as a critical part of a full and happy life.


How often do you take the time to play and have fun?

What activities feel like recess for you?

How can and will you make these pursuits a more integral part of your life?

“When you are surrounded by children, the child in you comes back.”

“When you are surrounded by children, the child in you comes back.”

Celine Dion, best-selling Canadian recording artist

Our grandchildren, Weston and Ella

For me, being a grandfather feels different than being a father.

My son and daughter were born when I was 28 and 30. During these early years, I tended to be pretty serious, seeing my role as protector and provider as my primary responsibilities.

Today as a Pop Pop at age 65, I am now seeing a lighter, more playful side of myself.

These days, I consciously take the time to be more fully present in far more moments of my life. Although we still try to teach and instill positive life lessons in our two grandchildren, I find that they are also teaching us some valuable lessons on ways to live more spontaneously and joyfully.


How have you experienced children over the years?

How and where have they been your teachers and rekindled your youthful spirit?

I’ve been afraid of people playing their life away with too many toys

“I’ve been afraid of people playing their life away with too many toys.”

—Ray Bradbury, late American author and screenwriter

Image of two toddlers playing with a computer

Image from Unsplash by Jelleke Vanooteghem

Take a trip down Memory Lane and look at the toys you played with as a child. For me, the top three were a used sled for winter, a banana-seat bike for the rest of the year, and of course, a pimple ball for all sorts of games we would invent.

I vividly recall that before the age when I could venture out with friends, my mom would give me a bucket of water and an old paint brush. I would express my artistic talents on the sidewalk before the summer sun erased all traces of my work. It was like an Etch-a-Sketch without the cost!

Fast forward to today and look at the toys you and your children or grandchildren play with. How many are digital? How many can be and are often used alone, instead of with friends or family?


Where would taking more of a “The Best Things in Life are not Things” approach help you lead a simpler and more satisfying life?

Tweak the balance between your dance and your march

“Tweak the balance between your dance and your march.”

—Michael Bungay Stainer, Founder of BoxofCrayons

Image from Unspash by Sarah X Sharp

What comes to mind when you consider the word dance? For me, it’s playful, fun-loving, and self-expressed.

Now what about the word march? Perhaps thoughts of the military, or simply disciplined work not necessarily of your choice come to mind.

As a young boy in grade school, the though that I could or should not play until all the work was done was prominent.


Given that for most of us the work never seems to be done, where would tweaking your own dance/march ratios make the biggest difference?

How might you bring more play to your work, or dance into a more enjoyable and productive life?

Play the Tiles You Get

“Play the tiles you get.”

—Grandma Nelly

Image of a Scrabble tile holder

Image from Flickr by Joe King

In her book, 365 Days of Wonder, R.J. Palacio shares a charming story of her grandparents. Both avid Scrabble players, they played every day for more than 50 years.

Her grandfather, known as being the “intellectual,” almost always lost to his wife, who was primarily a homemaker, not the lawyer who graduated from Columbia.

Grandma Nelly was quite smart in her own right. She loved crossword puzzles. She had a miraculous ability to make the most of the tiles she was given rather than waiting to use the highest value tiles on double or triple word spaces. That was grandpa’s strategy.


In what areas of life are you waiting to get better tiles? What would be the value and benefit of learning to play the ones you currently have, and those you receive each day?