Work is tough. Our hours are long and often we get stuck in a rut, doing the same thing over and over again (Groundhog Day with Bill Murray comes to mind). Especially at this time of year – it feels like we’re stumbling, arms thrust out in front of us zombie-like, to some imagined finish line where things will magically improve. But often they don’t. Often it’s just more of what we’ve been doing the whole year, just at a more frenetic pace.
So I had a look for the happiest person I know, and that’s my daughter Holly. Even when she face plants at high speed she manages to dust herself off (albeit after a few minutes of blood-curdling screaming) and carry on chasing the leaves. In fact, almost all toddlers are ridiculously happy. There’s a lot we can learn from them. This is a conversation between a good friend of mine, Emmi, and her ridiculously cute and smart little boy, Richard:
Emmi: what do birds eat?
Emmi: and what do crocodiles eat?
(and my two favourites)
Emmi: and how about lions? what do they eat?
Rich: special grass
Emmi: what do pigs eat?
Rich: money (that would be thanks to the piggy bank on the kitchen counter)
Little children don’t know ‘I don’t know’, and they don’t care what others think of them. And, other lessons I’ve learnt from my baby are:
- It’s ok to stop what you’re doing when you hear music (even bad doof doof music) and dance like the world is watching and cheering you on.
- It’s ok to grab your dolls as you walk past, give them to mama and dada and get them to join in ‘dudu-ing’ them with you. And it’s ok to expect that they will.
- It’s ok to shout really loudly, right from your belly, when you’re excited. In fact, you should.
- When you’re happy, run. Run until you fall down. Then get up and run some more.
- When you see something you like, take it. Pick it up and show it to everyone to share your amazement.
- Get right in there with the things you love. Climb on them, hold, squeeze them, throw them.
- Don’t be scared to imitate those you admire. Emulate them but make sure they’re good people doing good things first.
- Outside is best. Always. Even in the rain. And water feels amazing.
- Eat only when you’re hungry. And stop eating when you’re full. Even if it tastes good.
- Tell people exactly what you think and how you feel. Don’t make them guess your feelings.
- Explore. Press all the buttons and see what they do. If they make a scary noise, call until someone (mom) comes to help.
- Play in the bath. Get out all your toys. Splash, laugh and shout – it’s so much fun!
We need to have more fun with our lives. They’re not going to get any easier or any better just because it’s nearing the end of the year. You’ll have to make it better and easier and more fun. But that’s the easy part. Just pretend your a toddler ( minus the tantrums) and you’re there.