But that's not really what I'm talking about by sheer unrestrained fun. It goes deeper. There's an impulsive energy that most adults appear to lose over time - but remains somewhere hidden inside us, I think, awaiting rediscovery. Where better than South Florida to rediscover it? And what better time than during our amazing winter weather?
I was thinking about this today while watching a family feed some turtles at the lake beside my condo. Just one tall man, apparently the father, with two small girls and another woman. Well, I thought she was a woman judging by her height. Until she moved. Then it was clear she was an older child. And that was when I wondered: How could I tell this person was a child? The answer: She bent toward the turtles with a fluid and impulsive sense of fun that most adults no longer show in public. We tend to be self-conscious, slower, more confined to movements that no one could think silly. But not kids. The younger they are, the more lacking in self-consciousness. I'm not talking about impulsiveness that can be harmful, of course, but rather the kind of instinctive connection between feeling and action that's so common among playful children. Why shouldn't we tap into that as grownups sometimes? I believe we should. I suspect it can be very healthy for us and a whole lot of fun too. You know what I mean, right? Let's say you're walking along the beach in your shorts and shirt but feel a powerful urge to dive into the ocean. Go for it. I've done that and it was a blast. My clothes dried quickly. Or maybe you're driving somewhere for dinner but suddenly want ice cream instead. Why fight it? Or you stop at a pretty park beside some canal but discover that you want to run through the grass instead of walking. Hey, run. Feel like that child you once were, simply letting go now and then. As I said, Greater Fort Lauderdale seems perfect for expressing a giddy joy. And who knows? Maybe some of that youthful exuberance will stick with you when you return home. Let's hope so anyway.