It’s not often that you try to nail your 8 year old son in the face with a hard rubber ball. But last week, that’s exactly what I did. When I missed, my son Noah taunted me with a little booty dance. “You little stinker” I yelled, “I’m gonna get you”. I quickly grabbed another ball and while staring directly at Noah, fired it at Paris—my 10 year old daughter—slamming her square in the chest. “You’re going down mom”, she shrieked in mock fury. The next ball flew out of my hands and right into my husbands…crap I’m in trouble! He then begins to fire off balls so hard and fast I thought he might put a hole through our garage door. We were all red-faced, sweaty and slightly hysterical. It was awesome.
Sounds kind of sketchy, I know, but don’t worry, I wasn’t beating my kids. I was just playing with them . . . a good old fashioned game of dodge ball. You see, I’m tired of sitting it out. Day after I day I watch my kids play — baseball and gymnastics, swinging and jumping on the trampoline – and I sit and watch. We cart our kids around from one activity to another, they play while we “busily” attend to our to do list, or scroll through Facebook, or just zone out. But I’m sick of it. Call me selfish but I want to have fun too. And rather than continue to think about it, last week I decided to do something . . . starting with this incredibly fun game of dodge ball. And guess what, since our first game, we’ve been out there every day playing.
I bet when you were a kid, there were things you loved to do, that brought you incredible joy. In most cases, you didn’t even think about what you were doing, you just did it: hula hooping, tea parties, dancing, putting on your mother’s make up and more. Do you remember that feeling of joy that playing brought you? When I was a girl, I loved to jump into my bedroom closet and play spaceship with my brother Todd. “Captain, ready for takeoff!” Another favorite? I pretended to be the drummer for the rock band Kiss! My brother, his friends and I, would put on concerts and I swear…I could hear the screams of the crowd, feel the beat of the drums and the adoration of my fans as I rocked out to “I… wanna rock and roll all night!”
I love these memories because playing was fun! So I have an idea for you. Join me and bring the power of play back into your life. Just because you’re all grown up doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Not so sure? Let me inspire you. Since our first game of dodge ball, I’ve actively been playing every day. I have to admit, at first it felt a little odd but within a few days, I felt different; freer, lighter, giddier, and my kids were commenting on how much fun they were having too. What started as an experiment has morphed into a true reconnection with my girl; the one whose life was ruled by giggles, imagination, and adventure . . . As opposed to anxiety, stress and rigid schedules.
The more I play the more I remember who my girl was, what she enjoyed and more importantly, how she felt. While I love my life and being a “grown up”, I miss the freedom of my youth (When the words guilt, fear, and worry weren’t even in my vocabulary). As I’m learning to play again, and get my girl back, I’m also weaving that feeling of joy into everything else I do. It’s as if a light switch has been turned on and a breath of fresh air has infused my life.
So here is your mission: start playing. Do something you used to do as a kid — jump rope or hula hoop instead of going to that dreaded fitness class. Or if your kids are playing, get in the game and play with them. If you’re not sure exactly what to do, start by playing a game of dodge ball!
Each week, as part of my Power of Play blog series, I will share what I’m doing . . . to fuel ideas for you! I encourage you to get in the game and give play a try (starting with Dodge Ball this week). While it was difficult to figure out what to do at first, it’s now easy- because I’m having so much fun and you will too!
If you’d like to join in on the fun and get my blog post by email, sign up at http://bit.ly/1j2ol3s. You can also share your own stories and ideas here on my blog or on my Facebook Fan page at Get Your Girl Back movement. I can’t wait to hear your fun ideas and how it’s impacting your life.
Written by Traci Bild, Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement & expert on Women’s Issues