If I could go back in time, I would return to my childhood. I remember one Christmas watching children singing Christmas carols in our school gym. One boy had a look of pure joy on his face as he sang with abandon. I turned to a fellow teacher and asked: "How do we recapture that joy?" That is the $64,000 question.
Children have an innate ability to live in the moment -- not in the past, not in the future. Adults, on the other hand, are programmed to live either in the past or in the future. For those who live in the past, they often fell a sense of regret. They focus on what they have done wrong in life. Those who live in the futre experience a sense of anxiety. They are always focusing on the future: their next meeting, their next obligation or their next chore. Their lives become one big responsibility.
For many adults, life is all work and no play. We are taught that playtime is frivolous and unnecessary. In fact, I can think of one day sitting in the backyard with my daughter at 3 years of age: she was trying to get my attention to play "ghost" with her and I was bent on finishing my journal rather than paying with a ghost in a red bathing suit.
While I did have small responsibilities as a child, I still had a lot of fun. I was much more carefree and I laughed more often; life was much less serious. I can remember laughing with my brother until we cried. I was the leader of the L.A. CLub at school, which stands for "Laugh A Lot" (I guess it should have been named the L.A.L. Club). Laughter was a priority in my life, not just something I did once in a blue moon. Life was something to be lived to the fullest. Yes, I would love to go back in time and experience life like that little boy in the gym singing Christmas carols. Life is full of moments like that -- if only we take the time to notice.
Cartoon courtesy http://www.deepestfeelings.com