Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series devoted to bringing out your inner child this summer. Why? Because summer deserves more than one column.
The coming weeks will surely be joyous ones for students all across the country – from kindergarten to college. They’ll sit on the edge of their seats, poised and brimming with excitement. They’ll no longer be thinking about science or math or the capital of Mongolia; they’re done with all that nonsense.
Instead, their eyes are fixated as if they were in a deep staring contest with the clock. And they were. After all, each second that went by was a second closer to that bell of freedom. Literally. And when it ring-a-ding-dings? Well, just watch out.
Oh, the joys of being young and carefree again. To suffer through those torturous nine months, knowing those three months of sweet salvation are completely and utterly worth it. If only us adults had those sorts of luxuries. Granted, many jobs observe a more relaxed atmosphere from June to August (casual Hawaiian Fridays, anyone?), but the glories of summer days and endless summer nights are over once you hit 23 – nothing but a distant memory amidst the pile of papers on your office desk and calendar filled with meetings.
But do they have to be? Should they be? With all the stress and hostility found in the workplace these days, experiencing the joys of those lazy, hazy days of yore could go quite a long way toward improving our lives and our state of mind – both inside and outside the workplace.
Don’t believe me? When was the last time you even did one of the following?
Take A Picnic At An Area Forest Preserve
Our lovely little area of the Midwest sports quite the variety, many of them including walking paths through lush greens and the smell of summer flowers. My mother has an overzealous love of going to Afton Forest Preserve. I honestly used to dread these outings, but there’s something about being in nature that just makes you slow down. And we could all use a chance or two or three to slow down. The point is to get outside. Become one with Mother Nature; she, after all, deserves some major props for all the troubles we’ve put her through over the centuries.
Spend An Entire Afternoon Being A Goofy Kid
Remember how great it felt to run down the toy aisle as a child and fill up your basket with the essential summer supplies: bubbles, sidewalk chalk (in all colors, of course), a giant bouncy ball (they were always my favorite until I found out I was allergic to latex. What a sad, sad day that was). For added fun, why not take a color kite for a ride. This one is a classic that never goes out of style. My father was a kite man. Kites in all shapes, colors and sizes. There’s something incredibly freeing – and calming – about just watching a kite sway lazily back and forth against the white clouds and blue skies. But as in life, watch out for those pesky trees.
Prance Around In A Park
There’s nothing like feeling the wind ripple through your hair as you whoosh back and forth on the swings. Or how about getting dizzy going down the gigantic slide? Kids were on to something when they deemed this a fun activity; it’s a great stress-reliever and darn relaxing. And if you happen to go to Huntley Park, give that labyrinth a whirl. That mind-boggling maze gets me every time!