What's the point of JUST sprinkling PLAY into our lives?
I’m not sure if you’re into picking WORDS of the year…..but I’m *kind of* feeling the idea. This year I decided to go with PLAY. But almost as quickly as I declared it, I forgot about it, until last Friday.
What prompted the reminder was a workshop I participated in, called Creative Writing for the Internet, by the Middle Finger Project.
AND WHOA it reignited my writing like a fire-breathing fuchsia and purple scaled dragon.
Play is THE essential ingredient
While I learned a ton of great tips, the BEST part of the workshop was that it gave me to the jolt I was craving. Recently, writing had started to feel like tackling a big mountain of dirty laundry….A.K.A. a pain in the ass chore.
After the workshop I was thinking about how fun and playful it felt to write again and I started to think about all the ways play so easily gets weeded out from our lives.
It’s like it’s built into the algorithm of becoming an adult - it gets demolished for practical like the counting crows said “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot”, reasons.
Play becomes something that’s viewed as impractical, frivolous and a total waste of time OR it’s something we sprinkle in on a rainy day, when we have “time” or need to plan a party.
THIS is why even our creative projects and businesses (in my case - writing) can sometimes start to feel like a chore.
Our playtime, if we're not paying attention, gets replaced by perfection and productivity and sucked out by metrics and all the ways we validate these pursuits.
This is why we need to keep swings in our backyards, even if we don’t have kids or we did but they’ve left the cozy 2500 sq. ft nest.
It’s why we need to have a old lunch cafeteria tray full of paint supplies at our desk, even if we have no plans to have our artwork hanging in a gallery one day.
It’s why we need to turn our kitchen into a dance floor and not wait to bust out our moves until we get invited to a wedding.
It’s why we need to light the white pillar candles on the dining room table even if we’re just eating dinner alone on a Monday night, instead of waiting for an anniversary or birthday.
It’s why we need to doodle, write in our journal and make art even if we're the only people that will ever see it.
Yes, there will always be things in life and business that will feel like a chore and we STILL have to do them - I’m looking at you folding laundry, dentist appointments and taxes.
BUT we don’t have to settle for sprinkles. We can make PLAY part of the main course of our lives, businesses and creative projects. After all I’ve *never* heard someone say “Ugh, I need to mediate, I’ve been playing too much”.
While the the action of play is free, flexible and filled with ease. Making space for it AND filling our lives with it needs to be a purposeful and committed act.
Because everything else wants us to tuck PLAY away. Keep it locked away until we retire or when there's more time.
So maybe you picked a cooler word of the year than I did or maybe that's not your thing at all. BUT I think we can all agree, that PLAY…...whether it’s with paint, through dancing in the kitchen while making dinner or hopping on the swing under the tree….. is something we ALL can never have too much of.
Waving at you from my "sandbox" in the name of play.
PSST….what does PLAY look like in your life, business and creative projects? Share in the comments below.