When you are almost five years old, everything is an adventure.
It’s something we adults often lose sight of. We fidget and check the time, thinking of each item on the long to-do list that cycles through our mind like a CNN news feed. Stop at the grocery store on the way home, get gas, pay a bill, make a phone call, start dinner, rake the leaves, winterize the yard, and on and on.
You know that news feed, right?
Well here’s something to ponder. Five- year- olds do NOT have them.
Not a single ticker tape runs through their sweet little heads. They spend their days living in the moment. They explore, test themselves, laugh, climb, notice, wonder, investigate, question – live. To the fullest.
And sometimes it annoys the heck out of adults.
We have things to do, places to be, tasks to complete. We grind out our lives, one list of tasks after another. We grudgingly allow five more minutes to those eager little faces, sometimes even fudging on the time.
Unless on occasion we toss the list out the window and choose to inhabit the world through a child’s lens.
Then this amazing thing happens. Life gets bigger and interesting and funny and challenging.
And I swear, when I am in that place of child-like exploration/observation of the world, time slows. It expands, stretches out before me like a magical gift. It reminds me of childhood summer evenings when we stayed outside late, playing with our friends, squeezing every bit of fun out of the moment before we all had to go inside.
In the last couple of years two friends and I have designated one day a month as retreat days. We spend the entire day, usually 9-4-ish discussing a book or watching something one of us has recorded, working on a project, or just talking and enjoying each other.
It’s the closest thing to being five years old I’ve come up with.
It’s such a luxury to step away from those darn lists, phone calls, work, family commitments, and anything else that keeps our brains spinning, and just be together. It’s taken us a long time to actually give ourselves permission to be so decadent. And now I wouldn’t give it up for the world.
There is something quite magical about stepping out of the stream of life, slowing down and remembering what we inherently knew when we were kids. Life is more than crossing tasks off a list.
Life is about living.