Why So Serious?


W​e were watching my 2-year-old grandson for a week so my daughter could have time with her boyfriend. They ended up getting Co-Vid, so I had my grandson for 6 weeks. The time was tiring, but we had fun adventures, walks, a train show, Halloween, parks etc. Almost every day we were out.

M​y grandson is now back home. I have been so tired. I’ve had migraines. I haven’t wanted to work or dive deep into personal development. I’ve been tired of housework and politics. I’ve wanted to read light, easy books, watch silly YouTube videos, watch unimportant TV shows.

A​nd feeling guilty about it all.

I brought it to my journal and found the tiredness was two-fold. Taking care of a two-year old is exhausting. But, since I had all that time with him, I pressured myself to “catch up.” I pushed myself to work longer, clean up all the mess in a week, and work on some goals that were on hold. I felt scared I was falling behind. (Falling behind what?)

I never gave myself time to rest.

W​e don’t always need to be producing, chasing after goals, improving, healing. We can enjoy ourselves for a bit.

E​ven the phrase deep rest feels dark and depressing to me at the moment. I wanted light rest. Silliness. Comedy. Fluffy movies and books.

Which flows into the second part of why I was so tired.

I was missing the play and silliness.

With my grandson, we did silly faces and danced around the living room. I delighted in his wonder at milkweed fluff, stars, and a windy beach with hidden treasures. I saw everything with fresh eyes and got excited about small things with him.

Walking backward and climbing stairs was an achievement he smiled at because it was new not because he thought it meant something about himself.

L​ightness and fun followed our days. In the 90s I had written a piece for Sesame Street Parents magazine about staying present in play with your kids. And the words often come back to me when I want to be thinking about my to do list instead of connecting to my grandson in the moment. Now to bring that mindset, when there isn’t a child here.

L​ife has so much beauty and joy, but serious self-pressure can hide it. We were made to wonder, delight, create and play. Can we allow ourselves to immerse in a fun story without multi-tasking with cleaning or social media? Can we let go of the need to know or not miss out? Do we need to be so serious?

Music, art, nature and movement can nourish our parched souls. What is fun to you? What feels light and maybe even silly.

I had to ask myself where I was feeling burdened and rigid. Where was self-pressure sucking the joy out of my life?

After all my journaling, I am noticing when I am pressuring myself, so I can let go. I am bringing in more rest without the guilt. (I slept 9 hours last night! Hi, Great British Baking Show. Yes, to reading while I get my oil changed instead of something productive.)

I am opening to fascination and awe. (Look at how big those snowflakes are! I am so grateful for serendipitous delights.)

I am turning work into play. (Dance breaks. Picking tasks to do randomly. Tapping into love before connecting with anyone or any project.)

I allow silliness and creativity. (Bright purple lipstick. Using my imagination to create fun stories instead of catastrophe. Playing with my air fryer.)

And laughter, so much laughter.

Are you feeling tired, serious and rigid? W​here can you bring a little play and rest into your life this week?

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