COMMENTARY: Living life with whimsy is more important than ever 

by Mar 26, 2021OPINIONS





“What’s life without whimsy?” 

– Jim Parsons as Dr. Sheldon Cooper in “The Big Bang Theory” television show

The past year has been hard on everyone, and living life with whimsy is more important now than ever.  It is very easy to become inundated with “bad stuff” daily, and it is necessary to take yourself out of that reality once in awhile.  

My wife and I enjoy watching You Tube videos, and we found a channel last week, known as “Always Believe”, that embodies what I’m discussing in this piece.  Ashleigh Olson and her fiancee’ Bryan Morton live in California and frequently visit Disney parks and other theme attractions in the area simply to “play”.  

As adults, the concept of playing is all but droned out of us.  We are to report to our jobs and work hard, pay our bills, support our children (youth and adult) in a multitude of ways, and basically just be responsible.  Now, I do all of those things and consider myself a responsible adult, but I do try to take time out each day simply to play.  

Last week, I proposed an idea on my personal Facebook page that was sort of a joke at first but turned into a decent idea.  I was thinking how much fun I used to have playing kickball so I proposed why don’t we start a kickball league or have tournaments here on the Qualla Boundary.  Well, a lot of people liked the idea…maybe it’ll catch on and become a thing?  

The important thing behind that idea isn’t the act necessarily of playing the sport of kickball (is it a sport?…I guess it is), but it’s about rekindling that childlike spirit that used to live in all of us.  To be honest, that spirit is still there.  It just might take some work to get it to come to the surface again.  

We watched a recent “Always Believe” video where Ashleigh and Bryan visited Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios which is a park dedicated to nothing but Star Wars.  The point of their video was to talk about how much fun it can be to simply dress up in Star Wars-esque attire and immerse yourself for a few hours in a land and world not your own – to play and find that whimsy.  

This reminded me of the fun we have each year doing the Safe Trick-or-Treat Night at the Acquoni Expo Center (old Cherokee High School).  I know for a fact that the various tribal programs/entities of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the local organizations and businesses that participate to make booths for the children have just as much fun, sometimes more, than the kids themselves.  I hope that event can make a return this year as it benefits the adults working it as much as it does the kids who attend.  It’s all about playing and making whimsy.  

Mary Oliver, an American poet who won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for “American Primitive”, once said, “You must not ever stop being whimsical.  And you must not ever give anyone else the responsibility for your life.”  

So, take control and find whimsy where you can.  It doesn’t have to be at a theme park.  It can be simply adding a game night or a Disney movie night for you or your family.  The important thing to remember is that you’re never, ever too old to be a kid.  

Thanks Ashleigh and Bryan for helping me to remember that fact.