Three Thoughts for Thursday – September 2021 – Permission to Play

Photo by alexandros Giannakakis on Unsplash

I’m back this month after taking July and August off to practice what I preach – being intentional about how I want to show up, especially with my family this summer. I tried to be more thoughtful about creating boundaries and adaptability to show up with authenticity and integrity with the people I love most.  This summer, I worked on learning to ride the waves.  The last two months have been a wild ride of activity as we had our three kids at home, road trips planned, and then unexpectedly decided to sell our home, buy a new one, and move.  I realize as I write this, it is a privilege to sell a home and buy another, and I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity to be a homeowner.  I am thankful for the house we have called home for the last nine years and for the new home we now inhabit that will allow us to build and live the future we have envisioned for ourselves and our family.

Over the last couple of months, the image of the ocean and its waves keeps beckoning and I have been pondering this idea of life as an ocean of waves that I am being challenged to learn to ride.  This summer, I got pulled under in the current, but I have emerged a bit stronger and a bit wiser, I hope.  I have missed writing and hearing from you, and I regret I couldn’t pop my head up to let you all know I would be taking some time off.  Sometimes that’s how life is, though, unexpected, and the tides sometimes pull us under.  I chose to heed the power of the ocean and to stop fighting the pull of the waves. You can read more about the poignant lessons of summer in my latest blog post, Losing Sight.

For now, in this edition of Three Thoughts for Thursday, I want to focus on the idea of being intentional about how we show up, creating boundaries and adaptability in order to ride the waves of life and still continue to show up with authenticity and integrity.  As I reflect back now on this summer, I am grateful for my children, their wisdom, and the lessons they have shared with me of the importance of making time for play. My children have reminded me that I have permission to play.

When I think of summer, I think of childhood – long days of hard play, creativity, laughter, swimming, popsicles, and drifting off to sleep exhausted and content. I think of boredom that leads to trouble and may also lead to invention, adventure, and joy. I want to continue to pay homage to that childhood ability to have fun and the choice we can make even as adults to invite fun in with intention, to bask in the goodness of how the decision to play can fill us up.

Despite the adulthood stress of selling our home and moving to a new house, we made the decision to go on vacation anyway.  We rode electric bikes for the first time and ate snow cones at farmers’ markets where we partook in the bounty of summer veggies and fruits.  We paddle boarded in the Deschutes River, dug in the sand on the beach, and flew kites on the sunny breezes of the Oregon coast.  There was something incredibly freeing to see my kids, day after day, happily pass the time building sand creations on the beach.  We played games and we laughed, and I chose, with a little help from the universe, to step back from my work for a moment.

I will admit, part of the decision to step back from work and schoolwork, was not really my own.  You can find that story by reading my blog post, Losing Sight.  But after this experience, I more clearly see the value in choosing to let go and to play.  With that in mind, I am keeping September’s Three Thoughts for Thursday a little lighter.

What are your favorite summer memories from childhood?  What are your favorite moments from this past summer? How might you invite some of that summer joy and fun in throughout the year? What might you gain from allowing yourself to have fun?  Who might you invite to your play date? How can you be more intentional about allowing yourself time to play?

Quote(s) I am sitting with, pondering and find inspiring:

“You rarely have time for everything you want in life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.”

~ Fred Rogers ~

Podcast I’m Listening to:

Daily Stoic with Ryan Holiday

For centuries, all sorts of people – generals and politicians, athletes and coaches, writers and leaders – have looked to the teachings of Stoicism to help guide their lives. Each day, author and speaker Ryan Holiday brings you a new lesson about life, inspired by the thoughts and writings of great Stoic thinkers like Marcus Aurelius and Seneca the Younger. Daily Stoic Podcast also features Q+As with listeners and interviews with notable figures from sports, academia, politics, and more.

Delivers often short but profound and interesting tidbits and thought-provoking ideas.  A meditation inspired by the ancient Stoics, illustrated by today’s world/situations.  Ryan’s podcasts ask big questions and offer ancient wisdom, questions like “Why are you surprised?” and ideas such as when writing, you “…can’t edit what doesn’t exist” and a quote from Epictetus, “We don’t abandon our pursuits because we despair of every perfecting them.”

Photo by Marcus Woodbridge on Unsplash

Book(s) I am Reading:

Grumpy Monkey

By Suzanne Lang, Illustrated by Max Lang

What Amazon has to say:

The hilarious #1 New York Times bestselling picture book about a chimpanzee in a very bad mood–perfect for young children learning how to deal with confusing feelings, especially during the transition back to school.

Jim the chimpanzee is in a terrible mood for no good reason. His friends can’t understand it–how can he be in a bad mood when it’s SUCH a beautiful day? They have lots of suggestions for how to make him feel better. But Jim can’t take all the advice…and has a BIT of a meltdown. Could it be that he just needs a day to feel grumpy?

Suzanne and Max Lang bring hilarity and levity to this very important lesson on emotional literacy, demonstrating to kids that they are allowed to feel their feelings.

Jim Panzee is back and grumpier than ever in Grumpy Monkey: Party Time and Grumpy Monkey: Up All Night!


By Don Freeman

Corduroy has been on the department store shelf for a long time. Yet as soon as Lisa sees him, she knows that he’s the bear for her. Her mother, though, thinks he’s a little shopworn—he’s even missing a button! Still, Corduroy knows that with a bit of work he can tidy himself up and be just the bear for Lisa. And where better to start than with a nighttime adventure through the department store, searching for a new button!
Celebrate 50 years of this irresistible childhood classic, a heartwarming story about a little bear and a little girl finding the friend they have always wanted in each other.

The Kissing Hand

By Audrey Penn

School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester’s fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary. Since its first publication in 1993, this heartwarming book has become a children’s classic that has touched the lives of millions of children and their parents, especially at times of separation, whether starting school, entering daycare, or going to camp. It is widely used by kindergarten teachers on the first day of school. Stickers at the back will help children and their parents keep their Kissing Hand alive.

Please check out my latest blog post, Losing Sight. You can also find recent posts Lessons from the Run, Part 1: Mile 18 – Endurance, and Lessons from the Run, Part 2: ResilienceLessons of the Run, Part 3: Restand Lessons of the Run, Part IV: Grit, which are all still relevant to our current circumstances. If you missed my June edition of Three Thoughts for Thursday, you can find it here, on my blog, as well. Beginning April 27th, I have had the privilege of Co-Hosting with Kathy Hadizadeh, the Emotional Intelligence Special Interest Group for ICFLA.  If you are interested in joining and co-creating this learning community, please use the link above to find out more and to come along for the journey!
I’m always looking for new inspiration, new books to read, new podcasts to listen to, so please send your suggestions my way or comment on this post to offer some new recommendations!
As always, thank you for your continued support and readership! Stay strong, stay brave, stay true to you!