I've discovered there are two kinds of people in the world: those that know how to play and those that haven't learned yet. I, my friends, am a player!
Playing, I discovered, is grossly underrated. Maybe it’s because I didn’t get to do much of it growing up that I appreciate it so much grown. Sometimes I have to just pinch myself when I think that we mortals were granted this huge orb on which to frolic and cavort. Is the Creator cool or what!
Now, I didn’t have a lot of opportunity to perfect my having-fun skills early on, but over the years I think I mastered them. Like anything, it took years of practice, but I am really good now!
Back in college, I was dubbed "bad influence" because I was always persuading one dorm mate or another to put down the books, get out of the study carrel, and go get some pizza or just play on the beach. (Tough duty that was, pursuing academics on the Pacific Ocean coastline!) It wasn't that I wasn't a serious student -- I just thought since we happened to be in one of the prettiest spots in world geography, why spend the entire time cloistered in claustrophobic study boxes. Not when there are waves to splash in, sand to burrow in, stars to gaze at.
If you are like me, if you could also medal in Olympic Playing, you know that the world is full of those just waiting to be taught how. I believe it’s our duty to teach! Playing is, afterall a skill, a habit, and a mindset. It’s a way of choosing to look at the world.
Listen, I know life can be pretty hard. I am not for a moment minimizing the need for liberal doses of discipline and responsibility. But c’mon! Can’t we have fun while we’re at it? It’s like housework. You can do it fun, make a game of it and enjoy it. Or, you can slog your way through it like you’re going to be living in the laundry room forever. The players are in there making bubbles with the detergent and snorting laundry sheets (oh, don’t tell me you don’t sniff ‘em too!?).
I can guarantee that life will dole out moments of heartbreak, pain, and loss. But betwixt and between those harsh exercises I think we need to focus on the frolic. Seek out chances to be frivolous. Remember how to skip. And, as often as possible, get out of the office or study carrel, grab some pizza, or a couple of dryer sheets, and go play on the beach. Recess!
I'd love to hear what creative ways you find to put some play in your day!