Rekindle Your Childlike Wonder

Remember when you were a child, when using your imagination was a natural state of being?  When each day was filled with possibility?

You could be a princess in a castle one moment, slay a dragon (princesses are brilliant, beautiful and tough, you know!), then travel to the moon, and then, after snacktime, create the most fantastic fort out of a cardboard box, pillows and blankets.  All in the space of a morning.

Come to think of it, that sounds creative, productive and fun.  Oh, we have much to learn from kids.

My parents used to subscribe to National Geographic Magazine.  We had stacks around the house.  It was the stuff of dreams.  I’d pore over them for hours, imagining myself visiting the fantastic places I saw on the glossy pages.

When I was nine I went on a school trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario to see the King Tut exhibit.  I was smitten.  That was it, I wanted to be an archaeologist.  Of course, seeing the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark a year later – ah, Harrison Ford (*sigh*) – only reinforced the glamour of it.

Image source: Google Images.

I also wanted to be a photojournalist for National Geographic, seeing and documenting incredible cultures and landscapes.

When you’re a child, anything is possible.  Children don’t impose the limits on themselves that adults do.  You know, like: that’s not even possible; it’s irresponsible; it’s too expensive and there are bills to pay; what would people think? and so on.

In university I went on an archaeological dig for six weeks at a Maya site called Cahal Pech in Belize, Central America.  It was an amazing experience.  I can’t say I still want to be an archaeologist, but I got to experience first-hand what I had previously only read about in books or seen in museums.  Awesome.

A grownup is a child with layers on. ~Woody Harrelson

What if we took some time to peel back the heavy, burdensome layers we carry, and allowed ourselves to imagine what we’d like to do or try if there were no limits?

Part of me would still love to be a photojournalist.  But in reality, there’s nothing stopping me from taking pictures when I travel and writing about my experiences.

Now it’s your turn… dust off that grey matter and think back to when you were a child.  What was something you really, really wanted to do?  Explore the possibilities, even for a few minutes, and ignore that voice inside you that tells you all the reasons you “can’t” or “shouldn’t.”

You could go back to school.  Or try flying lessons.  Learn to swim.  Try horseback riding.  Sing in front of an audience.  Go to a castle.  (leave the dragon-slaying to the imaginary princesses though, please).  Charter a boat.  Visit the Great Wall of China.

In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

It’s your life and it’s precious.  What would you choose to do with it?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Susie Kurth Kirk May 25, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Love this! I am just getting started writing my half-finished novel again after many years.
Thanks for making my day!

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Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) May 25, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Susie, that’s wonderful! You made MY day. Thanks for sharing your great news!

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Kat Cowley May 25, 2012 at 2:06 pm

How I loved this! I really am slating some time today to think about that in depth!! And I’m sending this to my parents. Now that they are in retirement age, they think they have no career options. Boy are they wrong 🙂

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Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) May 25, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Awesome! I’m thinking about it more too… so many fun possibilities. And you’re right about your parents – no matter what a person’s age or stage in life is, it’s never too late to try something different and to inject fun and imagination into their life! 🙂

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today was meaningful... May 30, 2012 at 11:08 am

I absolutely LOVE this post 🙂 it is amazing to think about all of the things we are capable of accomplishing when we give ourselves the chance to do so…i can’t wait to start back up on some of my personal goals/projects…thanks for sharing!

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Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) May 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Thank you so much! You’re right – as long as we allow ourselves to look beyond all the self-imposed limits, the possibilities are endless! Wishing you lots and lots of fun with your projects! 🙂

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