“Not last night, but the night before …
” we 7-year-olds sing as I jump in rhythm to the skipping rope. “Twenty-four robbers came
knocking at my door.” I mime knocking as I continue to jump. “I went out” … breathless, I jump away from the rope, race around my best friend’s back and prepare to jump back into the skipping rope’s rhythm as we continue, “while they went … IN!” I jump back into the rhythm just as the recess bell pierces the din of our childhood freedom.
There was always a tension between the anticipation of the jump into the swinging rope and actually jumping. When it came to Double Dutch (jumping into two alternating skipping ropes) the tension could easily be paralyzing. Once you successfully jumped in, the longer you were able to navigate the rhythm of the rope, the more excited you felt, the more satisfying the experience. But what if you had to jump the rope, had to stay in and had to keep singing the same song over and over …?
Many of us live our lives in the rhythm of our own jump rope games. We know the song, players, the actions … going to work, taking care of family, controlling finances, managing home, health, and day to day necessities. Initially each of those jump rope games excited us, inspired us and challenged us to explore and expand who we were and who we could become. So at what point did we transition from excited into complacent? When did we become numb to the endless repetition of our lives, paralyzed in our repetition? How did we decide that this is all that there is; good enough? Why do we allow ourselves to live without passion or purpose, and settle for less than our dreams?
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can move beyond complacency and repetition. We can reconnect with and actualize passion and purpose in our lives. We can create Meaning in our lives.