Whimsy—And Other Adult Decisions

How long will you live? Do you know? Our lives, though they sometimes feel long, are a quick breath, a flash, one day we’re here and one day we’re gone.

“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver asks.

What will you do with your life?

We have choices in our lives, the years a twisting Choose Your Own Adventure. We don’t decide every detail, but we have choices along the way. Where will you go to college? Where will you travel when you have the chance?

What will you do with your life?

The older I get, the more I believe in whimsy. The older I get the more I understand the value and beauty in the teeniest moments—barely perceptible to one who isn’t paying rapt attention to the world around her.

The older I get the more trained my eyes become—zooming in on the good and letting the rest fall by the wayside.

And the older I get, the better I get at making decisions. Decisions like “Whimsy.”

I want to decide on whimsy. I want to decide to spend my money on a bouquet of sunflowers or a trip to see my best friend. I want to buy dinner for a co-worker or go big for a birthday or take a surprise vacation. I want to play in the waves when it’s easier to sit on the shore, I want to dive into the deep, splashing and laughing with all of the wise maturity in my soul.

It feels like the world is several shades of grey these days and it seems like fear is the only logical solution.

But the fear—regardless of how tightly we hold onto it—never seems to actually help.

Instead I want to cling to something else. I want to cling to joy and the pursuit of hidden delight—scooping them up and holding them close to my heart.

I want to pin bows in my hair and dance too late into the night. I want to cry when a stranger is kind because it touches that place in my heart that reminds me that the world is good—that sunlight is capable of breaking through the thick grey clouds.

We have choices every single day and there are many times when responsible choices are necessary. We need to pay that bill, we need to put that money into savings, we need to show up to work day after day. But there are other decisions to be made—decisions that make all of the difference if done right.

And that’s the decision of whimsy. That’s the decision to get the extra scoop of ice cream, or to swing on the swings instead of walking the dog right by. It’s the decision to stop and engage, asking questions and hearing the answers, to live our lives fully as if they were wild and precious.

And that’s the kind of life I want.

I want to swing through life full of wise whimsy—a bow in my hair, and joy in my heart.

What will you do with your wild and precious life?

Image via Glitter Guide



  1. What a beautiful piece and a reminder to do what we know we all should be doing..living to the very best that we know how. Thank you for your lovely words!

  2. I loved this blog when I started reading it. But it doesn’t seem to develop at all. Most of the posts are so much alike.Are there really several contributors or is it the same writer day in day out? I would love to be surprised from time to time by what I read here! The idea of this blog is too nice to get lost in all of its present boredom!

  3. Stephanie, this is so beautiful! I love how poetic and playful your writing style is. This perfectly captures what I’ve been thinking about the last week! LOVE THIS!!

  4. This is perfection. What a beautiful gift life is, what a precious opportunity to live it fully in wisdom and in whimsy.

  5. This made me cry because it so completely captures what I have been learning over the last few years. Life is such an amazing gift, and we choose everyday to either live it or just get through it. I want to LIVE it. Thank you for these sweet words of affirmation.

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