Somewhere along the way we have forgotten the importance of play, laughter and joy. We forgot to see the humorous side of life, the silver linings, the stolen moments, Instead, we see the negative, the clouds, the lost time., the plans gone awry.
Without joy, life becomes a chore, something to be endured instead of something to be reveled in. When was the last time you took a mental health day, gave yourself permission to run away and keep going until the peanut butter sandwiches run out?
When my daughter was young, even though I worked full time, we would take run away days and go for a drive, or to a fast food joint or walk on the beach. Whenever possible, she would meet me for lunch and we would go to a grown-up restaurant. One of my fondest memories is taking a roll of caps for a cap gun and a hammer and sitting on the walkway, exploding them one at a time. You must realize that she was in her teens at the time.
Because she grew up with the idea that it was OK to play to fritter away time, she is still able to do so. It has caused her a couple of embarrassing moments, like playing in the sand pile with her dinky car collection when a car drove up her driveway looking for directions. She was married at the time. But even those memories are treasures.
We still pack a picnic, a cooler and go to the end of the driveway and pick a direction. It is surprising how many wonderful places you can find that way. Sometimes we stop at all the yard sales, sometimes the discount stores, sometimes the zoo and sometime a grocery store and a picnic park. It really doesn’t matter. What matters is the playing together.
Our approach to life and the use of time can often mean the difference between a harried, driven workaholic and a well-adjusted, productive individual. Playing exercises the body, mind and spirit. Don’t forget to play and when plans go awry through no fault of your own, remember that it can mean lost time or stolen moments, the choice is yours.