Work at Play
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.
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.
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.
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