After a long time away, I'm back. The past few months have been gray. Lots of things that have happened have made me question my life, my place in this world, and who I am. I won't get into details but believe me when I say that these have been some of the saddest, loneliest days I've had in my life.
Some of the gray was brought about by the anniversary of my birth.
When I was younger, I felt like my birth anniversaries were worth celebrating. The older I got, the more that feeling of joy morphed into one of dread. I've been told that one is only as old as they feel. If that's the case, the last six months have aged me 30 years.
Aging is hard. Anyone that says otherwise is not being honest with themselves. I don't mean the biological process of aging is hard - eating well and exercising can slow down the aging our bodies go through. No, instead, I'm talking about how difficult the psychological process can be. Being in that place where one is no longer, in the words of my father, a "spring chicken" but yet not quite old enough to drive around in a motorized scooter at a retirement resort isn't easy.
Again - stuck in that icky, gray space between.
In some ways, I haven't grown up completely. I still say silly things, think eating Nerds candy is awesome, color in my Hello Kitty coloring book, count on my fingers, and giggle when I splash in puddles - things a young'un would do.
There is part of me that gets annoyed with the twenty-somethings that can't (or won't) behave themselves and think the world revolves around them. I admit, the annoyance stems from a place of jealousy because they have a lot of life ahead of them and so much potential. When I look at them and then at myself, I see hourglasses standing side by side. The sands have shifted much more on my side than theirs.
Now that I am coming out of the life-sucking fog, I realize the importance of playtime and engaging in frivolity...sometimes...when appropriate since, after-all, I am kinda sorta an adult. I've watched those twenty year olds and how they live for the moment. They chronicle their lives on Tumblr and Instagram as though they are the hottest, most important people on the planet. And ya know what? They are. We ALL are. Each of us has value and relevance in this world no matter what our age is. It's up to us to remember that every day that we wake up.
So, when I turned the age I did on April 22nd, I made a promise to myself. I vowed to give my inner child more opportunities to play and enjoy LIFE. True, my form of play no longer involves dancing at nightclubs until 3 A.M. (not that it ever really did) but I can play on my terms, in my own way.
Playtime for me means blisters on my feet, sunburn on my nose and shoulders from grinding out miles during a run on a hot Texas afternoon, getting dirt on my face, and being covered in sweat. Making time to play is a priority for me again. It may not be the wild and wooly antics of a youngster but if it brings a smile to my face and happiness to my world, then it's the right kind of playtime for me. The only gray that remains in my world is on my favorite running shirt and shoes.
The world is my playground again.
Have YOU played today?