What’s Your Whimsy?

Last week I was wandering around the Twittersphere and I came across a link to this video:

Isn’t she delightful? I heart her. I bookmarked the video for Inspiration Tuesday, but it had me thinking so much that I decided to save it and write a proper response.

I love the idea of whimsy as “something you do that you love and don’t care if anyone else likes it.” That makes me light up inside. So I thought about it a bit, and I came up with a list (although I should admit that some of the items on this list are things that I have previously been a little shy about, but am now inspired to share boldly with the world! YAY!).

What’s MY Whimsy?

1.

Dancing in public. That probably won’t surprise you. But it might surprise you to know that I’ve had to struggle to get back to the point where this is a non-scary thing to do. I was in automatic hiding mode for a LONG-ASS TIME. But the other day I caught myself bopping down the grocery store aisle and singing along to the song that was playing. YES! Victory! I was SO PROUD!

2.

Getting really REALLY excited. Like, jump-up-and-down-clapping-my-hands-like-a-toddler excited. Because if you’re not going to get THAT excited, what the hell’s the point, really?

3.

Wearing my purple Converse sneakers (which I bought as an homage to The Doctor). It makes me extremely sad that they give me blisters if I walk too much in them, or else I would seriously wear nothing but these shoes 9 months of the year. Stacey and Clinton (you know, the “What Not to Wear” stylists) would probably be horrified. I’ve decided that Stacey and Clinton can bite me.

4.

Watching old literary adaptations and TV shows. Very specific (usually British) ones. I am a HUGE fan of The Avengers circa 1965.

And I just re-watched Ivanhoe (1982, with Anthony Andrews and Olivia Hussey) for the first time in about 15 years. I couldn’t stop grinning the entire time! I can’t be counted on for help recognizing British movie actors because I know them from things that other people have never seen before.

5.

Taking ridiculous photographs! That’s one of my absolute favourites (as you can see, it runs in the family :P). Here’s another good one:

6.

Listening to what I call Nerd Rock, and what my husband disparagingly calls “novelty music.” This started 13 years ago with The Arrogant Worms, continued with Hank Green, and has reached what I consider its pinnacle with Chameleon Circuit, a band that writes ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE songs…about Doctor Who (If you click the link, you can listen to their latest album in its entirety for free. You know, if you’re nerdy like that.)

All this whimsy-listing has me thinking…

I used to be more whimsical. When I was a teenager, I would skip down the street with my friends and do grand jetés across the intersections. I bought star stickers from an office supply store and wore them bindi-style on my cheeks and forehead.

At college in the States, being an Obnoxious Canadian was my whimsy. I hosted an all-Canadian music show on the campus radio station, and put up promotional posters with slogans like “Sorry to burst your bubble, but we all know ‘aboot’ is something you wear on your foot,” and “Because Beaver tastes better than Eagle” (OK, that one was only up in the bathrooms, but still…).

And then I feel like all that whimsy went away for a while. Like, I got scared to stand out. Or I got past my second year of university and put all that whimsy in a little box and buried it. I guess that happens to a lot of people. We “grow up.” We “get serious.” But really? It was mostly fear. At least for me. I know for me I wanted to fit in and “do things right.” And I was afraid of being noticed…and judged.

UGH.

Fuck. That. Shit.

I’m standing up now and I’m owning my whimsy! I’m listening to Chameleon Circuit’s new album on repeat. I’m rocking my purple Converse as much as I possibly can. I’m going to consider the grocery store, the parking lot, and anywhere else for that matter as my own personal dance floor if a good song comes on and the mood strikes. I’m going  to keep watching my movies. And I will continue to pepper my Facebook photo albums (and this blog) with completely ridiculous photos. And that is awesome.

And maybe next time I’m in the office supply store I’ll pick up a sheet of those star stickers…

Advertisements

How to be Astonished…before lunchtime

I was so inspired by Jen Louden’s post How to Be Astonished before 10am that I decided to try my own version. And it was a rousing success!

Here is my list of the things I enjoyed and the experiences I savoured, all before lunchtime yesterday.

I:

  • Woke up on a comfortable bed and enjoyed a prolonged snuggle with my son.
  • Took a moment to enjoy the beauty of the world washed grey by the fog outside
  • Used indoor plumbing three times, and washed my hands with vanilla scented soap
  • Cuddled with Xander on a comfortable and well-loved sofa and discussed breakfast options (we have options!)
  • Took a long drink of fresh, clean water (took several, actually)
  • Petted a ridiculously affectionate fluffy cat (with a toddler, who was actually gentle)
  • Played a game of Monkey See Monkey Do with Xander (he is SO good at reminding me how to play…when I take the time to pay attention)

  • Opened a fridge and cupboards full of food and picked the foods I wanted to eat for breakfast from a wide range of options (we had cinnamon toast and blueberries, and they were delicious)
  • Had a family snuggle with Matthew and Xander
  • Made coffee for Matthew and savoured the smell (I can’t drink it because it makes me CRAZY, but oh, how I love the smell!)
  • Enjoyed my own GIANT mug of Red Rose tea with milk (my favourite drink, which does NOT make me crazy)
  • Kissed Matthew goodbye and chuckled as Xander performed his daily “saying goodbye to daddy” story in the hallway (complete with nonsense language and choreography of some kind as he acts out the story)
  • Folded and put away a rainbow spectrum of clean clothes that I love

  • Put my son in his stroller and went outside on a gloriously sunny and warm day
  • Was stopped by my neighbour, who presented Xander with a bag full of candy
  • Put up some of the AMAZING posters that my husband designed for my Dancing Mamas Tribe
  • Arrived at the library to find that there was a live presentation of gymnastics by a team from Denmark about to start. Watched incredible (and adorable) junior athletes tumble and dance in the sun, and got a little teary.

  • Turned homeward under clear blue skies and felt a breeze start to cool the sweat from my back as I pushed the stroller
  • Stopped at Starbucks to put up a poster, and enjoyed a free sample chocolate coconut frappuccino and a piece of cookie along with the incredible orange juice that I bought to share with Xander.
  • Enjoyed a moment on a sofa in the sweet, sweet air conditioning before heading back home.

And that was just before lunchtime!

I want to live every day like this.

I felt so grateful and blessed for everything in my life. I experienced so much more magic than I usually do (the gymnasts? the candy? I mean, come on!). And I felt more centred in my body than I have in a long while. More connected to my loved ones. Just…better.
I can’t recommend this highly enough. Thank you, Jen. I needed this.