Last month, I was watching my 8-year-old son play joyously with his friend in the Legoland water park. Because I always forget there are water rides at amusement parks, they were running fully clothed throughout the area, racing through water geysers and careening down water slides.
They looked like they were having so much fun that I decided to throw caution to the wind and run with them under the huge bucket of water that slowly fills before it dumps water from 30 feet up in the air. We huddled in anticipation and screamed together as the water came crashing down upon us, and I walked back to our hotel that night seriously wet and cold, but feeling so very much alive.
I haven't always been that crazy lady at the water park running around with her kid while other kids' parents watch with a mixture of curiosity and surprise. Until last year, I would have considered myself a pretty typical suburban mom. You know, the mom who takes her kid to the park and the pool, but sits on the sidelines watching and saying "No thanks" to each of said kid's requests to play on the swings or join in a game of tag or play "who can swim the furthest on one breath of air."
But a year ago, when I started exploring what was holding me back from wanting and happily receiving erotic attention from my husband, I found I had been ignoring my body. I mean, I was eating smart and working out somewhat regularly, but while those functional activities made me feel healthy, they didn't make me feel alive like I did when playing at the water park.
So I did something crazy, as all folks in the midst of a good midlife crisis tend to do, and joined the circus. Okay, not exactly, but I did sign up for an aerial class where I learned to climb a 30 foot silk fabric a la Cirque du Soleil and hang upside down. Now I don't know about you, but I hadn't hung upside down since my childhood days on the playground, so it was hugely disorienting and shockingly exhilarating to try it again decades later.
It may seem strange that writing about playing like a kid is part of a series of blogs about sex, but let's face it, sex is just another form of play. Sure, it's adult play, but if you've forgotten how to play like a kid, my guess is that you're not maximizing the potential for enjoyment in your sex life. At least I certainly wasn't.
These days, I continue to embrace and explore my physicality. I still don't think I'm ready to buy a skateboard and join my son at the skate park, but I will admit to thinking about getting a matching set of roller blades, because hey -- those might be fun both at the park and in the bedroom.
"Wait, that's it?" Transformation takes time, so I'm intentionally sharing in bite-sized doses that reflect my experience over the last year. I'd love to hear your questions and thoughts, let's continue the conversation in the comments section below. Or visit my blog at downtothere.com