I have this letter board in my office that says, “dearheart, enjoy your life.” I planned to change the sign weekly, but almost a year later, it’s still there. I think it’s because I’m still learning how.
For most of my life enjoyment has felt like a luxury I couldn’t afford. I would often beat myself up with negative self-talk, procrastinate my dreams and sabotage myself because I didn’t feel worthy of my desires.
Thankfully, I’ve outgrown these beliefs (for the most part) and I can see beyond my cultural inheritance that says productivity/success/money=worthiness. I don’t believe we have to earn the right to enjoy our lives. I believe we were created worthy, and part of being a human on planet Earth is being able to take pleasure in its beauty. I believe “play” leads to our best work, and isn’t just a reward for those who hustle (there’s a lot of research from Stuart Brown to back this up! watch his TED talk here.)
This past Friday I was feeling the effects of being in isolation for a month. Instead of numbing my feelings by scrolling social media or zoning out in front of the tv, I decided to get out my water color paints and glitter instead. By making space for play and enjoyment, I shifted my mood for the rest of the day, and found gratitude in the midst of these uncertain times.
If you find yourself in a similar place this week, I hope you’ll set aside some time to do something that brings you joy. Maybe it’s a walk in nature, calling a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, doing a puzzle, singing karaoke to a bunch of Disney songs (just me?!), or baking a delicious dessert.
Whatever it is, I hope you make some time for it. I pray you can see the value in letting yourself laugh, have fun, imagine, pretend and play. We’re only here once, dearheart—make sure you enjoy it.