06 Jun 2017

Fun In the Sun-Our Time to Shine

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“Peter Pan’s got kids,” is a line from the movie, “Hook,” and it’s one of my favorites.  The movie reminds us that growing up, doesn’t have to mean, growing old.  There are many gifts that maturity or growing up offers.  One of them is developing the confidence to be authentically, who you want to be.  This in turn develops a kind of naturalness and ease that leads to being open, imaginative, flexible and curious.  It also gives oneself permission to have a quick, toothy smile that precedes, as in my case, a loud “obnoxious” laughter.

And as laughter goes, I know it can change your fate.  How? My loud “obnoxious” laughter told me I had found the right woman to marry, and marry her I did.  I knew she was the one when I took her on a date to a comedy movie.  Not only did she, not, run out of the club with my first explosion of laughter,  she proceeded to give the other movie goers who had issues with it really, really dirty looks.  Thus, protecting my God given right to guffaw as loudly as I wanted without restriction.

I recently turned 46, and this birthday had a poignant and sobering effect on me.   46 is the age my mother was when she passed away.  As I reflected on the years that have gone by I was reminded that tomorrow is not promised to anyone.  And yet, we must fulfill the destine promises, both silent and audible that we have made to ourselves, our families and humanity.  It is within this commitment to self that gives meaning to our existence.

I have been blessed to have had a mother who challenged me and encouraged me to make noise, create, take risks, standout, be different and to make a difference.  These wisdoms were instilled in me from the time I was born.  I remember as a very young child my mother gave me a Christmas gift, which was a Bugs Bunny Drum Set.  And as reflect on that perhaps, it is time for me to beat my drums again…I’m just saying,,,I was raised to make noise, create, be heard and make a difference.

Like most of life’s wisdom it is usually served with a side of duality and two helpings of choice.   We can’t spend every day watching Mel Brooks movies, doodling with crayons and eating ice cream and still have a life of success that leaves a legacy of inspiration and accomplishment.  Just as being joyless and grim won’t create a life filled with laughter, love and deep friendships.  That being said, I do not believe in the notion of balance.  I don’t believe that everything needs to be equal for things to work right.  For example; there is more flour than eggs in a cake mixture.  However, it’s the, right amount, of each that creates my grandmother’s famous and life affirming chocolate cake.  The right amount, the quality and the time and effort spent that makes her recipe so successful.

My definition of success is linked in part to the amount of success I have in the world.  However, my success in the world is just one of the many ingredients that make up my recipe for life.   In my shopping cart of life I have so many other items family, travel, community, health, love relationships, spirituality etc, all are key ingredients for me. Yet in different quantities.  Just like my Grandmother’s chocolate cake. What’s comforting to know you, like me, really do get to pick what you want for your recipe of life.  That doesn’t mean putting it together won’t take creativity, noise, work, perseverance, tenacity, and then the faith to serve it up and eat it for dinner.

There is nothing like Summer Vacation to signal the official transition from one grade to another inferring that you are getting old or growing up.  While it’s been many years since I’ve heard the final school bell, because of my kids, this time of year makes me nostalgic knowing that change is coming in the form of growth.  We are letting go of the “normal” school driven routine and embracing the knowledge that new experiences are on the horizon and we get to choose what we put into our shopping cart of life.

I will never forget jumping off the high dive for the first time, and going to the beach and getting sunburn that was so intense, it still hurts when I think about it.  Then there was the summer of the great steak fling (a family joke), but, I digress.  All this serves to remind me is that, I’m a grown ass man, not an old man.  Like Peter Pan and all the characters I’m still growing up and I get to choose my own summer camp and I can have summer camp every day, all year long.

Change your thinking and change your life.  Think big thoughts, take massive action, move through the fear of evolving, and be who you want.  Trust me when I tell you, I write this blog mostly to remind myself of these truths.  However, it is truth.   And it’s simple and you, me, we can do it.  We can change our lives with magical thinking.

Someone said, “Life has meaning because it ends.”   It is our time in the Sun, our time to shine so that we can blaze new paths, dream great dreams, do great work and truly live with passion, love, happiness and meaning…and authentic laughter.

You can fly.  You can fly. You can fly.  Now let’s go play.

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