The therapist recommended that my children need to just feel joy. Pure, unadulterated joy. Have fun. Find ways to let go.
So I organized a four-session private at Detroit Flyhouse, a circus school where we can take to the silks and the trapeze and let it all go. Heart-opening daring.
We have lesson 2 this morning. Everyone is up earlier than they want to be and we’ll head downtown shortly for a hearty workout. Then breakfast at a favorite restaurant, a little visit with our 6-month old baby cousin, and then they’ll tag along with me to a work event where they’ll get to me Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez.
Sounds like a good day.
When all the madness swirls and they volley back and forth between their dad’s house and mine, my children need to know that life isn’t all heavy and scary and full of animosity. They need to know fun.
So I’m doing this for my kids, but I began to wonder why I didn’t do it for me?
I don’t know about you but I certainly fit the definition of the over-programmed workaholic. I pack my schedule too full and check off work and career obligations without carving out time for me. For peace. For communion with my soul. I haven’t even meditated regularly in a long, long time.
What race do I think I’m winning? Or any of us for that matter?
Who says the need for joy and fun ends with childhood?
And if you look at children today, you have to wonder if there is any joy or fun there anyway.
Everything is so structured for success – fill your college resume in third grade!! Teach to the test and take tests as if your life depends on it!! Pack every after-school hour with something, anything, that will give you an edge!!
When I was a kid, I had extracurricular activities, but we never felt like we were running.
We had time every day after school to sit at the kitchen table and talk with my mother about how the day unfolded. We had time for a snack, time to unwind.
Even in high school, I remember fun with friends as a central theme. Youth group parties and school dances.
I went to a great college. I did well. I made friends and fell in love. Several times. And three weeks after graduation I was employed in New York City.
Not a bad life.
I may not have scaled mountains or been hired in at the New York Times upon graduation but so what? I was happy.
Somewhere along the way that gets lost. Perhaps it’s in the thick of trying to earn enough to stay in the house you love or afford the new car or send kids to camp or college.
Whatever it is, I am always aware that there are families bigger than mine in homes smaller than mine and they are happy. Content. Successful.
What lies behind the need to run, run, run? Why do we only seek out the circus school for our children, and not for ourselves?
These are questions to ponder that may not have answers but they may lead us to a new way of being, a new way of seeing what matters.