In Search of Awe

So I find myself, on this first day of a new year, thinking that I may have misplaced my awe.

Somehow, while I constantly marvel that on the inside I still feel the same as I did when I was 14, I seem to have grown up in a less than fabulous way. I seem to have put down my capacity for wonder while picking up work, deadlines, responsibility, and needing to feel useful.

I don’t really think that this has to be a one or the other situation. I believe that in the great Venn diagram of life there should be an overlap of adulthood and child-like wonder. That said, it would appear my current equation is a bit flawed.

Thinking of math, there was a period in my life when I took the time to scratch my head over two hours of math homework that involved imaginary numbers. How could I spend two hours on something that does not exist? And why did I have to?

It’s questions like these that I just don’t seem to ask anymore. I am given deadlines, parameters and requirements and I put them diligently into my to-do list and do what I can to eventually check them off. Of course, while I am striving to clear those items off my to-do list new ones have appeared to take their place and the list never gets shorter. And I accept this. To-do lists are part of my biology….however, it’s WHAT is on the to-do list, or more importantly, what I don’t ever seem to put on my to-do list anymore, that has me baffled.

Once upon a time I had a normal to-do list for life and the realities that go with it, but I also had things like….
– Go to the movies
– Go for a walk
– Go somewhere cool to take pictures of something cool
– Go Read something exciting
– Go join friends for games
– Go find a new Italian restaurant
– Go explore my new neighborhood
– Go somewhere

Now my list is more like this….
– Do laundry
– Do dishes
– Do the grocery shopping
– Do my taxes
– Do conference calls

I see a trend….it seems that taking the initiative to GO versus making it a priority to DO is a big part of it. All the stuff on the DO list leaves no room for picking flowers, enjoying a beautiful day, appreciating a new movie–somehow taking on the DO and putting down the GO resulted in my misplacing my awe.

For example, I have just passed a New Years Eve in London. While I did actually spend time with colleagues and friends, I did not even try to go see the fabled London fireworks in person. I settled for watching that moment on TV. I have stopped experiencing and I have become a voyeur.

I think it’s time to figure out where I put my awe. My capacity for child-like wonder and belly laughs. My ability to be inspired to say “WOW” and giggle.

It’s been a pretty interesting ride during the 39 years I’ve had so far to walk the planet, but I definitely believe that the next 39 will be far more interesting if I reclaim my awe. Perhaps it’s with Eeyore’s tail in the back of an A.A. Milne book, perhaps it’s gathering dust on a shelf I don’t even know I have anymore, but it’s time to jump-start spring cleaning and figure out where the heck it is. I miss it, it’s been gone far too long.