Hopscotch days

IMG_0769Some weeks are harder than others, and earlier this month in one such week on one particularly such day, I had just had enough so I closed my laptop, stomped down the stairs and took Phoebe-dog for a walk to her favourite park.

Fresh air always helps restore perspective, somehow, and ambling through the grassy slopes and leafiness of DeWaal park, I came across a hopscotch game drawn onto one of the long walkways that criss-cross the grass.

I smiled immediately. I could just hear the squeals and laughter that must have accompanied the game whenever it had happened. I started walking along the pathway, remembering how much utter joy can be had from such a simple game.

And as I walked, I noticed that whoever had taken the time to draw this long, long game of hopscotch that looped around the corner of the pathway and carried on beyond where I could see, had taken the time not only to number the squares, but also to add in some encouragement and advice along the way.


  1. Hop the gap

Sometimes you’ll find a gap instead of a path to where you want to be, and then you can either give up, or you can take a leap of faith. Usually the ones you regret most are the ones you didn’t at least try to jump over. Be bold, hop that gap!


  1. Happy dance

Celebrating things often is something I’m still learning, I think, but it’s such a great way to go through each week – finding something to celebrate, no matter how small or sill it is, you’ll always feel better after a happy dance!


  1. Rest

Also something I wish I’d learnt earlier – sometimes you just need a rest, and that’s ok. In fact it’s better than ok, it’s really good for you and you’ll be much happier and more productive for it. So when you need to, have a nap.


  1. Smile

I know, these seem trite and superficial, but a really wise young man reminded us all last week that when you smile and add value to someones day, you can change everything. A smile and the intention to improve someones day will not only improve yours too, but could just change the whole direction your day and sometimes your life is taking. Don’t understimate it!


  1. Clap

Clapping is the happy dance we do for others – it’s good to celebrate our own small victories, but it’s amazingly wonderful to celebrate others! When things don’t go so well, tell people in private, but when people do amazing things or reach a goal or do something that matters – to them or others – then clap and celebrate and praise them for all you’re worth! The saying says “don’t forget that everyone is fighting a hard battle”, so encourage them on their road even if you have no idea what their battle is. Be happy when others succeed, whatever that means for them. It’ll make us all happier, whether we’re clapping or taking a bow.

Isn’t it amazing how good advice is the same, whether you’re ten or 70?

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