My favorite number (like Bert from Sesame Street) is the number six. It always has been. My reasoning? No idea, after all… who can really understand the reasoning of a child? All I know is that for as long as I can remember, six is the lucky number.
Every year I feel slightly amused when June rolls around and the calendar turns to 6/6. Not amused because of the number, but amused because when I was a kid I proclaimed June 6th official Do What You Want Day.
As an adult, that might sound silly, but to a kid, Do What You Want Day was the best. I could do whatever I wanted! I could ignore my homework as the end of school began to trail off, I could tell the bully he looked stupid, or say “no” when asked to do something boring.
In fact the only thing I find odd about Do What You Want Day is that as a kid, I needed to give myself permission to do what I wanted, and that permission only took place once a year. I spent so much time doing what I was supposed to, being responsible, and following the rules that I didn’t spend much time doing what I wanted.
All I really wanted, as it turns out, was to express myself and feel relaxed doing it
The funniest part is that those are the same things I have trouble with today, and that even as an adult an odd holiday I created as a child is a great reminder not to take my life so seriously.
It is really easy for me to get wrapped up in all of the things I need to do, or the things I’m not doing but should be, or even just taking care of myself. Sometimes focusing too hard on taking care of myself leaves me tense instead of relaxed (what the result of taking care of myself should be).
So yesterday as Do What You Want Day rolled around I paid my bills and did some laundry, but I also took a nap. I played videogames. I started a grocery list but didn’t finish it, and didn’t feel guilty about it.
In fact, guilt was strangely absent yesterday. I had a mutual agreement with life, the universe, and everything, and it allowed me to ride the crests and dips of energy without fighting them with the knowledge that today, I do what I want.
The best part of being an adult is the realization that every day should be Do What You Want Day. I mean, of course there are things we need to do to survive, but for the majority of my life I’ve let those things overshadow being open, being honest, and relaxed. Particularly relaxed! If I could make this day every day it would be like finding the holy grail. I have no doubt it would prolong my life, the only trick is learning to integrate that chalice into everyday living.