As you may know, I’m thinking about building a new digital home. To get some clarity around it, I had a coaching session with Judy Yaron. After talking for a while about my gifts and passions, Judy noticed something. ‘For someone who puts a lot of emphasis on play in the way you present yourself, it’s strange that you’ve never mentioned play once.’
It got me thinking about the role of play in my life.
Is play a passion of mine?
Hm, probably not. Let’s compare it with creativity, which is definitely my passion. I wouldn’t study play the way I’d study creativity. I wouldn’t be able to talk about it all day. I would defiitely not buy a book about play (ok, maybe, I would – this one, if I hadn’t gotten it for free) and I have shelves of books about creative thinking.
Am I gifted at play?
It would never cross my mind to call it a gift. Just for fun, I asked my kids once why they like playing. They looked at me as if I was an alien. ‘Mum, everyone likes to play!’ Play is something everyone has in them. It’s what we’re born with, all of us!
Play is a way of being and a tool for getting things done
It’s how I cope with what the world throws at me and how I complete what I need to do. I’m always asking myself the question, ‘How can I make this more fun? How can I turn it into a game?’ Because if it’s boring, it simply doesn’t get done.
When I worked as a tour guide, I used to make up my own legends to make my tours more interesting (mainly for myself, I’d have been so bored if I’d had to tell the same stories again and again all the time). I got so caught up in my stories that one time I passed a garage for a private Medieval chapel that a jelous husband built for his wife, so that she didn’t have to go out in public. Then I had to work hard to keep the whole group away from that
garage chapel, so that they didn’t get disappointed.
When I was in a sales job, I pretended it was computer game. I had to get x amount of points ($) to get to the next level (my target) and then I had to get some more points to beat the record (my personal best). Every month the game got reset and started again. I got so hooked on this game that I stayed in the job long after I’d outgrown it.
But that’s enough about me… I got curious and I asked a bunch of bloggers over at MyBlogU for their thoughts on play. Here’s what they said.
Play lightens up everything and makes life more fun
When I think of play, I think of awkwardly dancing and singing because those are two of the most playful things I do every day. In fact, I’ve done them since I was a kid.
I do it alone. I do it in front of family and friends. I do it with my dogs. I can pretty much burst out into a silly dance and song no matter where I am.
My husband always says that our 6-year-old niece reminds him of me because she also breaks out into random awkward dancing and singing.
I usually do it when I feel good. For instance, when I finish a work or personal task, or have a great supper, or buy something I’m excited about. I even did it when I found myself an awesome free parking spot downtown.
Being playful like that helps me get out of serious adult mode. I feel positive and bright when I do it. I feel more loving and grateful. I feel more fun to be around. I always laugh during or after. It just lightens everything up and makes life more fun.” ~Kari from Be Happy Tips
You know that feeling that you could, almost, touch the top of the trees?
Wendy from Bloom shared her recent play experience in this post. Read it to immerse yourself in her play experience. It will inspire you to head to the nearest playground (or whatever your play thing may be) and create a play experience of your own. “So free. So perfect.”
Play is about trying new things for fun
Play involves trying new things – not necessarily games, just things – for fun. Sometimes it’s as simple as using my left hand more (I am right handed). While others take more time, effort and even money, such as trying a different restuarant or taking a different route to work.” ~ Jeevan Jacob John
Play creates connection
As a parent, play holds a very special and strategic spot in my life. When the children were small, of course, play was all they did. So bonding with them depended solely on play.
But with both of them on the incoming side of adolescence, play is one way to continue to bond, even as they go through the natural process of redefining themselves as individuals independent of the old apron strings.
For the past few years, pitch and catch has been the play of choice with my older daughter. When we stake out a spot on the field, she opens up and we talk about pretty much anything. This year, that has changes to taking walks.
With my younger daughter, it’s generally been playing on the trampoline, although that doesn’t leave as much room to chat, but we have added pitch and catch, as well as walks with me and her sister occasionally.
With the right form of play, one can chat in a relaxed, no-pressure atmosphere that often eludes parents and teens during day-to-day life. That’s the role play plays for me.” ~ David from The Happy Guy Writing Services
Play is a great teaching and learning tool
When I was teaching chemistry to 11-19 year olds I would show them dances to help remember sequences of facts. I had one for each of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. I had songs and rhymes for atomic structure and “dirty” rhymes for remembering the Periodic Table. The kids loved it. I would see them mouthing the songs in their GCSE and A-level exam halls.” ~ Phil from Time Money Problem
Work and play can be the same thing
In my experience, play and work have become one and the same. Back then, I believed that fun is separate from work in which fun activities were a way for me to relax and recharge in order to work and earn my income. Nowadays, work has become a passion of mine, I have been a freelance writer for almost two years and I have bee loving every single minute of it. Writing for different blogs feels like playing for me. Not only do I get the showcase my writing skills to a dedicated audience, but I also feel recharged and happy after publishing them.
Point being: find something you do that you truly love. Being able to exercise your passion in a work setting allows you to live a much more fulfilling life.” ~ Christopher from BloggingPro
Here’s my challenge to you
(You didn’t think you’d get away without a challenge, did you?) No matter how busy you are, find something today to play with. You could try that thing you’ve always wanted to do, just for fun. Or you could look at what’s already on your plate and add some play to it. Let me know how you go!
I’ll leave you with my favourite quote, which I’ve already shared at least 3 times on this blog and I’ll probably keep on sharing it.