The four of us jumped into the swimming pool first thing in the morning. It was so exciting to be able to splash about in the water, giggling, laughing. Sometimes we’d have competitions to race each other. Sometimes we’d throw a coin to the bottom and see who’d find it first. But most of the time, we were just randomly splashing about in the pool.
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What mattered was to be in that water on this nice sunny day, without an agenda, just playing
Hours later, when my mom and their mom called us for lunch, we got out of the pool dripping wet, and went straight to our rooms. We sat together and ate lunch in the balcony so as not make the room wet. And as soon as the food was done, we were ready to go right back to the pool! The only thing that stopped us was our parents telling us to wait for a bit, digest the food a little, and then go to the pool.
Once we got back into the water we splashed and played and giggled and laughed again. We were there till evening, until past sunset, when the resort people said that the pool had to be closed.
That was one of the best days of my life!
I must have been about 10 or 11. My sister was with me, plus the two kids about our age from the other family. All of us had gone on a trip together and we were in the resort. It was the day in the trip where we didn’t have anywhere to go. No touring, no shopping, nothing.
All we had to do for the day was stay in the island resort, just spending time. We chose to spend it in the pool all day long. One of my happiest childhood memories. Even now when I think about it, I have this huge smile on my face, just feeling those feelings.
The best part about that time was having zero agenda
Absolutely nothing to do. Do whatever you want and just enjoy yourself.
I’m sure you remember childhood summer holidays where you had many, many days like these too. Playing, going out of the house, or staying indoors, whatever, just doing whatever you like. And not really thinking about anything else, not worrying about being creative, or achieving something, or the exams, or studying, or improving yourself…nothing, nothing, nothing.
Just while away time or be in flow doing activities that brought you so much joy and fulfilment
During summer holidays my sister and I would go to my grandma’s house and stay there throughout the summer. I’d asked my grandma to get me clay. Not some fancy clay, just some terracotta mud clay that she’d get at this particular river bed side.
It was close to a temple she’d visit. So in the morning after visiting the temple, she’d go scoop up this clay right off the earth and bring it for me. I’d spend hours together, lose myself completely just shaping that clay into different little things.
Perfection didn’t matter to me
You know, I was a child. I wasn’t trying to make something extraordinarily beautiful out of it. That wasn’t even the goal. Just playing with that clay, shaping it, making little things…I was so proud of all the little things.
Whatever I made, it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter to me that, “this looks exactly like the thing that I’m trying to make”. I just made it and it was so fun and nice to feel so much joy. No agenda. Just spend time doing things that I love.
In all this one common thing we see is Time
Having swathes of time to do whatever we want. Time freedom, time abundance, and not trying to use that time to do anything with a goal. Not saying, “how can I make use of this time? Time is running out, so I need to improve myself, put my time into something productive, blah, blah, blah.” None of that.
This is one of the reasons why all of us, if we think back on childhood, we’ve had so much joy then than when we’ve grown up into adults. So much more! Childhood seems like a much more joyful existence than as a grown up, right? Especially the pre-teen years.
So why can’t we do that for ourselves now?
I’m not saying all of us can afford to just spend all day doing nothing or doing whatever we feel like. Haha Adulting means some responsibilities and goals and all those things. Yes. So all those have a place in our lives.
But it’s also so, so important to carve out time to just while away, doing whatever we want to do. Like, just being. Sitting and daydreaming with zero goal in mind. Whatever activity we involve ourselves in, it’s not for any purpose except for the joy that it brings us.
I think it could make our lives so much more rich and healthy and fulfilling, if we managed to do even some of this every single day, or at least a few times a week.
Just letting ourselves be, not putting pressure on ourselves, not expecting ourselves to be someone, to become something. Putting all that aside for just a short while and then enjoying the moment. It’s gonna take you right back to your childhood. You know, the good part of your childhood, the good memories from your childhood.
What a treasure to be able to feel that way again, right?! Just imagine it
Think of one happy memory from your childhood. One day or even one moment where you felt absolutely delighted and carefree and joyful. And it’ll involve just playing. Just allowing yourself to do whatever you want.
Time is our most luxurious resource. We think money is the most important thing. Yes, money is important and it powers a lot of things in our life, but time is even more important! Having time abundance, having time affluence is the most important thing.
There’s a saying, “the rich spend time to make money and the wealthy save time by spending money” (something on those lines). Doesn’t it make sense?
So next time you have some time with you, and you’re thinking, “okay, I have to make use of this half hour between my meetings or this particular Sunday, before I start my work week”, instead of telling yourself that you need to spend it productively in some way, (whether it’s cleaning the house, or learning something new, reading a book, any kind of productive activity at all), instead of doing that…
Give yourself the grace to play, and to spend the time in good quality leisure
Not just watching TV and stuff (which also has its place of course), but some kind of a leisurely activity that maybe you did as a child. Something enjoyable, something freeing, something where you can just be yourself without worrying about the past, the future, just being in that moment and allowing yourself to just play and go with the flow of things wherever it takes you.
Try it out, okay?
I woke up this morning and for some reason I remembered that swimming pool day in Malaysia, on that island splashing about, and how it was such a joy, such a delight! And I thought I have to talk to you all about this and see how all of us can get more of that feeling in our lives.
If you enjoyed this episode, sign up for my newsletter, The Feel Good Tribe. I’d love to have you on the tribe! Reply to the welcome email and let me know your thoughts on having free time and how you spend it in quality leisure, just enjoying yourself and allowing yourself to be childlike.
All right, that’s it for today. Talk to you again next week. Take care. Bye.
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