Age Limit: None…for Fun!

 

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“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him, he’s always doing both.”  James Michener

 

What has happened to most of us, now that we’re long past the gates of Toyland?  Somewhere, between childhood and adulthood, we stopped playing.  Being an adult doesn’t mean that making time to have fun is a done deal, right?  There are so many benefits, starting with a positive sense of well-being, productivity and creativity.  And, fun and play should not end with childhood.

Yes, yes, adulting is serious business.  We focus on making more money, or some business venture; we set goals for weight loss and smoking cessation.  Well, what is the point of it all if we aren’t enjoying ourselves?  Sometimes, we’re all so caught up in life’s rat race that we can’t remember things we once really enjoyed doing and never make the time to find new interests.

Should we think about setting a play schedule?  A day here or there, time beyond any yearly two-week vacation?  Maybe, pencil yourself in and make a few “have fun” appointments?  Sure, as an adult, work responsibilities are in the forefront, but that inner child keeps bouncing a ball in the background and could care less about deadlines.

All too often, when we finally decide to stop and set aside some leisure time, we’re more likely to zone out in front of the television or computer than engage in fun and invigorating play like we did as children. But play is not just essential for kids; it can be an important source of relaxation and stimulation for adults as well.

Playing with your partner, friends, co-workers, pets, and children is a sure (and fun) way to fuel your imagination, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and emotional well-being. Adult play is a time to forget about work and commitments.  Mostly, it’s to be social in an unstructured, creative way.

Simply goofing off with friends, sharing jokes with a coworker, throwing a Frisbee on the beach, dressing up on Halloween with your kids, building a snowman in the yard, playing fetch with a dog, acting out charades at a party, or going for a bike ride with your spouse with no destination in mind…that’s play! There doesn’t need to be any point to the activity beyond having fun and enjoying yourself. By giving yourself permission to head off somewhere with the joyful abandon of childhood, you can reap many health benefits throughout life.

Try to clear your schedule for an afternoon or evening, for example, and then turn off your electronic devices. Give yourself permission to do whatever you want for the time you’ve allotted. Be spontaneous, set aside your inhibitions and try something fun, something you haven’t done since you were a kid, perhaps. And enjoy the change of pace.

Life is short. And play is an essential part of a complete life.  Get out there, while there’s still time!

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workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop… Write a blog post inspired by the word: play

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