“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.”
—Ray Bradbury, late American author and screenwriter
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.”
—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.”
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?