It’s been a long, dry spell since I’ve posted regularly to my blog. Chalk it up to being busy, or distracted, or in a place where I was just unwilling to invite the outside world in. The true fact is that any excuse will do. So, I made a commitment and signed up for May’s NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) through BlogHer.com with a simple goal to post every day during the month of May. If I can train for a marathon, I can train to be a writer by making a pledge to write everyday. The theme of May’s NaBloPoMo is the simple word “play.” And that is something that most adults, people like me, find really hard to do.
Think about it. When you were a kid and someone invited you to come out and play you wouldn’t wonder if it was the right thing to do, you wouldn’t take a poll in your house or with your co-workers to see if it was a good idea, and you certainly wouldn’t put chores like taking out the garbage, making your bed or cleaning the basement in front of such an opportunity. If you were a kid and received an invitation to go watch your favorite baseball team play and sit on the first base line, you wouldn’t bat an eyelash or wait for a more serious offer, you'd simply grab your mitt and go. So why as adults do we give ourselves so little permission to go out and play? Why do we spend more time wondering what other people will think if we give ourselves permission to experience a moment of unfettered pleasure or grasp a moment of joy when we hear that home run crack of the bat or witness a match winning goal in overtime? Somehow we have convinced ourselves that work is far more important than play and acts of responsibility come first, far in front of happiness.
Life coach and author Marianne St. Clair writes that play can inspire adults to think differently (think Apple); bring greater joy to what can become a mundane, predictable life; reduce stress; increase longevity (play-deprived is as lethal as sleep-deprived); reduce worry; create a lightness of being in a heavy world; stimulate creativity; reduce depression; increase energy; and allow one to take risks. Play not only teaches important life skills, it separates the boring from the engaging. Play is associated with fun and who doesn’t want a little more fun in their lives?
So, for the month of May, make a commitment to play. Forget the excuses, reprioritize your “to do” list and when you get that invitation from a friend, child, or spouse to come out and play, don’t think about it, just say yes. And even better, make the overture yourself and invite someone who is “all work” to come out and play.
© Kelly Tweeddale 2012