My first boyfriend broke up with me three days after my 18th birthday.
"You take life too seriously...you have the kindest heart, but you really need to lighten up," he stammered while repeatedly shifting his weight from one foot to the other.
"I'll have you know that I am a whole bunch of fun," I retorted! (Yep, I was known for my zingers.) Later that night I buried my mascara-stained face into my pillow and imagined my future as a lonely cat lady.
During my sophomore year of college, a gang of my friends barged into my dorm room, tackled me from behind, blind-folded me, and then carried me to my own surprise party. Why such extreme measures? Determined to spend the entire evening studying for an exam that was four days away, I innocently thwarted their attempts to get me there without arousing suspicion.
After eight-months of marriage I hit The Professor with a pillow...in righteous anger. His offense? Short-sheeting our bed as an April Fool's joke.
Fortunately, all of those examples happened sometime during the last decade and I've come a long way in the fun department since then. But still, there are times when I get so entangled in the must do's, should do's, and want-to-do's in life that I neglect opportunities to simply let loose and embrace childlike wonderment...play.
Last night as Pumpkindoodle slowly put on her pajamas, brushed her teeth, and conducted other bedtime preparation rituals, I didn't hurry her. In fact, I didn't pay much attention to her tasks...I knew she could handle them. And, I didn't mind that she was creeping along at a snail's pace to delay going to sleep...the more slothful the better. I didn't mind because I was playing.
I got out the Lincoln Logs and taught myself how to build a little cabin...with a door, a roof, and windows. I was so excited that laughed out loud and clapped when I finished! I even took pictures.
No, it isn't much, and yes, there were probably better uses for my time...but for a solid 20 minutes I ignored being the stiff grown-up and I played. And when I finished,I felt zero guilt... because last night it was time to laugh.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 (New Living Translation)
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.