At home, everything feels stable and warm and familiar. There are always lots of hugs and kisses and smiles. The water tastes better, the showers are clean, and the fridge always has good food. The best part of home, though, is just being in my family's presence. They've known me my whole life and understand better than anyone else why I am the person I am today. They've seen it all. They get it. And they love me both because of and in spite of it. I'm comfortable when surrounded by their unconditional love, and so am my most true self around them. They bring out my playful, mischievous side that has a lot of fun just playing. Just like we always did when I was growing up.
I got to go home this weekend and see my family, including my 10-month-old niece Bailey. She just recently began crawling and is officially mobile. I followed her around as she explored, licking windows and smacking table tops and had a great time playing hide and seek, as well as follow the leader. It's entertaining to watch my parents and brother with her, making silly faces and jumping around...and I know I look even more ridiculous. We're all just playing together again, and having a great time of it. All the while, I can see Bailey slowly learning as she goes along, collecting information. She learns from the playing.
Adults don't play enough. As I've grown older, I've realized how much priorities shift. It's all about fast tracking yourself to the finish line, no matter what toll it takes on your body, your health, your relationships, or your soul. You just have to do it - whatever it is - faster than the person next to you. Then you're good. We forget it doesn't have to be boring to be productive, and you can accomplish a lot through playing - and have fun along the way.