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grandma and grandpa Cowan

Full disclosure: These are my grandparents. Parents of the woman who used to open our back door and yell out to the neighborhood, “Kathy is a nu-ut!” Ah, family. Mom was a hoot!

Some of my best memories are of times when I was being silly. The really good ones are when someone else was being silly with me. When I was around 9, my father skipped from the car to the movie theater with me. It was an unusual and delightful event that has stuck with me for years.

When I was in high school, my best friend and I skipped through the halls together. Not very dignified, but it was a lot of fun – and it wasn’t really skipping. We were doing the skip/dance from The Wizard of Oz. It’s not an easy jig! You should try it sometime.

I skipped recently when a friend visited from California. One of her commitments from #52Dares was to skip in public. We linked arms and skipped from my front door to her car. (You can sign up at 52dares.com for a weekly email with some fun challenges. My friend Erin Dullea is the creator, and she is a genius at creating challenges that you want to do – like skipping.)

When my husband and I were first married, we did the upside-down face thing. You hang your head off the bed so that your face is upside-down. Then you frown and show your bottom teeth, and it looks like you are smiling! When the upside-down person talks, it is hilarious. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, search for “chin face” images online.) We did not have children at the time. No excuses – just silliness.

kst towel crown

Here is a picture of me with my children when they were small. I have no idea what we were doing, but I believe it might have had something to do with superheroes since I am wearing a cape. Although, that could be a towel crown and royal baby blanket robe. I will have to ask the boys, who are now men, if they remember. I have lots of fond memories of silly times with them.

The one thing that all of this silliness has in common is bravery. Most of the time, we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves. In my mind, that leads to living small lives. We should skip if we want to and not worry about what other people think! There will always be naysayers and scowlers. I can tell you that we got a lot of “how childish” looks when we skipped through the halls of our high school – and we didn’t care!

Our hearts were light, and we were laughing. My friend and I would mess up our steps and have to start over. Sometimes we sang, “We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz.” Just thinking about it makes me feel happy and light.

It also takes bravery because we make ourselves vulnerable when we are silly. We are opening ourselves up to potshots and disapproval. When we are silly, we trust. We build trust and strengthen relationships when we are silly with someone else, and they are silly with us.

Our first summer assignment is to be silly! I promise that upside-down faces is a guaranteed hit, but you can do whatever you choose. Grab someone’s hand and skip to create a fun memory that will last a lifetime.

For a little bit of fun leadership development, join 53 Leadership Challenges at KathyStoddardTorrey.com.

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If you are interested in taking your career to the next level quickly, contact me for a sample coaching session at KSTorrey@tapferconsulting.com.