After working into the late evening for three days, a little voice begged me yesterday not just to take a break, but to go play. Of course, I tried to negotiate. I had jobs to apply for and projects to finish, but perhaps I could at least grab some lunch. Over the course of the morning, however, the voice grew louder until the choice became inevitable.
My trusted laptop slowed to an excruciating crawl. I couldn’t work on my files, and even my Yahoo e-mail wouldn’t load. I rebooted my computer twice, but as far as I could tell, nothing was wrong with it. When Internet Explorer closed on me for a third time, I finally got the message. This type of thing seems to happen to me regularly. When I fail to heed the voice of my inner self—or my inner child—the universe steps in, taking the decision out of my hands. The key these days is that I actually let it.
With the decision out of my control, I became excited about playing hooky. I drove to an organic restaurant. But after putting my name on the list, I realized that I wasn’t taking myself out for a “ladies lunch.” I was on a play-date. And my inner child did NOT want to eat vegan lasagna or something equally strange (and let’s face it, usually awful).
I took my name off the waiting list, and then went to California Pizza Kitchen, where I had a salad—and a fried appetizer. The environment was fun and friendly, much better than my stuffy original choice. I took my time eating. And I wrote a bit. Then I shopped for nothing in particular. I had chosen not to be responsible, which frankly felt a little devious. It also felt light and fun—and free.
These days, I can take only so much seriousness before I simply need to lighten up. I suppose that’s because for so many years, I stubbornly refused to do just that. But through experience—and many mistakes, I have learned that the payoffs of playing are huge.
Everything just seems to work better when I allow myself these little breaks—when I have fun. Creativity flows; people call; and synchronicity abounds. Today, my laptop is humming along beautifully. Time and again, the universe rewards me a hundred-fold simply for choosing not to take myself too seriously.