Work at Play

adulting like a boss

You are really, really good at adulting.

You work your fabulous job. You put nourishing meals in your body. You’re connected with and contributing to others — whether it’s a partner, children, a pet, a darn good friend, or an online community.

When was the last time you truly let go, just for a moment, just for fun?

Think of yourself when you were little, and when fun just oozed out of your pores. Likely this is before you began school, when your days then turned more regimented by default. Find a memory of a moment when you were completely, totally, 100% in the present, having fun. That’s what play feels like.

Wine, crackers and cheese are just adult versions of apple juice, goldfish and cheese sticks.

Play doesn’t mean we’re not being responsible. Going down a slide on the playground is not a metaphor for sliding on our commitments. Play means we are getting things done with a light heart, uplifting ourselves and others.

Ironically, when we were young we played at working. Sometimes I was a veterinarian, all my stuffed animals lined up for checkups. Other times I was a teacher, sharing wisdom with those healthy critters. (I was not a fan of dolls, but loved my plush wild things!)  Oftentimes I made a home office in my closet, with both writing and thinking spaces that I could close the door and immerse myself into. Always I was a Mom, caring for my beloved beasts which were fully alive for me.

Smiling picture of the author at age 4.

Me, age 4, playing at driving.

Now that we’re adults, we work at playing. We schedule events on the weekends, accommodating our job calendar. We plan and save for farther-apart vacations, bigger arrangements of time and energy devoted to recreation.  We save play as an event, an agenda that we work up to our relaxing for.

None of this is a bad thing. And yet, I challenge us all to allow play to be a daily occurrence.

While keeping your overall plans and responsibilities on track, let play and fun slip through the cracks in your moments.

Laugh out loud during a funny movie or TV show. Take off your shoes and go barefoot in the grass. Hit Random Shuffle on your playlist, and groove while making dinner.

Set aside your almost-completed To-Do list, and just play with your dog –or your spouse, or your kids — for ten minutes.

And watch it turn into more.

Now here are three questions for you: What did you play at when you were young? What’s your childhood memory of a moment when you were completely, totally, one-hundred-percent in the moment and having fun?  And, what’s one thing you can do today to allow this feeling of fun and play into your moments? Share in the comments below.

Image of Surrender to Play oracle card

The Power of Surrender Cards, by Judith Orloff, M.D.

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Playing recently with my beloved, wild, fully alive critters.

3 Comments on “Work at Play”

  1. Yes Gina! I love this, so brilliantly put – getting things done with a light heart may be my new mantra. We save play as an event, sooo true! I identified ‘playful’ as one of my core desired feelings after reading the desire map by Danielle Laporte, so this particularly resonates. Thanks for the reminder


  2. Thank you for your memories and your story, Wendy! I can feel myself relaxing into fun and play as I read your words. I also love your note about remembering (in the present) to laugh — and that a belly laugh is a full body experience!

    I believe an honest belly laugh ripples out and taps others into their own sense of play as well, if even for a moment.

    And really, the magic is in the moments. ❤


  3. He he he….I love it!!! I generally played at being a teacher, I loved to play ‘school’ or I also loved to wander through fields and forest picking wildflowers and weeds and making potions/medicine for everyone!!!! 😜 Including my dolls and stuffed animals! 😉 I loved to swing on the tire swing as a child, I loved the wind on my face and hair, and the feeling of flying–it felt so free. One thing that I can do to create this feeling of playfulness in my daily routine is jump on the trampoline with my kiddos, dance to some awesome tunes while in the kitchen, and remember to laugh….a really good belly laugh, a full body experience! Thank you Gina for this, it is a fabulous reminder that life is full of moments we can choose delight, joy, and ease. 💗


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