There are no floating soap bubbles at bubble soccer which would have been pleasant and calming. There are; however, teenagers hurling themselves at you at breakneck speed in an attempt to knock you to the ground so you can get back up to be hit down again. As terrifying as that sounds, it is more fun than soap bubbles. Even if those bubbles are at a fireman’s calendar shoot. Not that I would know or have thought of previously or ever.
There is a quote from George Bernard Shaw that fits so perfectly this week. “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
This year that has never felt truer for me. I was ageing on that couch, and now I’m living and taking years off my life (yes, figuratively), by laughing more, enjoying the company of friends and family more, living more.
Bubble soccer will not cure the world of its ails. But you will be delightfully sore, decidedly sweaty, and incurable giggly when you leave. I must have laughed at myself for a good two hours after I got home. Our kids were laughing too. Mostly at me, but that is just fine because I was laughing at me too.
Sometimes it can be a challenge to relate to teenagers. Not because we don’t understand them but because they think we don’t get it. When I can share something with those amazing kids and my friends’ amazing teenagers too, I feel lighter, younger, and the kids get a chance to see me as someone who may just be okay to be around after all. It won’t be long before they are headed to university and starting the phase of their lives that doesn’t include my daily presence. If they can look back and remember the fun we had together when sometimes they need me, I’m just fine with that.
There is a bonus to having fun that you wouldn’t expect. Fun attracts people to you. People who are always battling some big challenge without taking a moment to see the good fortune swirling around them are hard people to love. Empathy is more like pity, and you want to help until you realize the object of your pity does not want help. Then you want to remove yourself from the situation as far as possible and with cat-like agility.
Even when life sucks, taking a moment to experience fun or joy or even a belly laugh at the expense of some reality television patsy, is ultimately essential. I have done more healing having fun this year than any therapy session has ever accomplished. This is not to say therapy isn’t fantastic, but we have to find what brings us, as individuals, the strength to get through our days. Turns out for me, it is good old fashioned play. An hour of play lasts me at least a week, but more likely a month, and can add a month to my life. And at thirty-six hours of play this year, I’m going to live to at least 103, and those kids should have been more gentle with me after all.
My Turning 50 Like a Boss Pro Tip: Sometimes behaving as a kid makes you a better adult.
Check out the video: Bumpin’ and Grindin’