In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
Most of you know that I get to spend a lot of time playing. I play during the week with the kids I watch, and I always play with my dog, Wylie. It keeps me young, at least on the inside. On the weekends, I usually take time to play in the great outdoors by hiking or biking. I also have hobbies I engage in. I enjoy sewing and various other crafts.
This weekend I focused on playing. I spent all day Saturday with my goddaughter. Then that night I got to see my godson who taught me how to play a video wrestling game. It was very important to him that I learn how to play it. You just never know when those skills might come in handy! We played and we laughed, and I felt better for it.
As adults, we tend to forget the importance of play. We even forget quite how to play. I remember telling my kids as teenagers to act their age, to cut out the playing and get to their school work. What a spirit breaker I was! Not to fear, they still remember how to play and still engage in lots of fun activities and sports.
There are many reasons that we adults should continue playing our way through life. Play fosters creativity. Artists need to make time to play and get their creative juices flowing. It stimulates the imagination and allows self expression. This is yet another plus for artists. Participating in playful activities and games alleviates stress, boosts our immune systems, and lifts our spirits. This is beneficial for all. Playing energizes and strengthens our mental and physical skills. I know with my own lack of clarity and coordination skills, I am one who needs fun and rewarding brain and body exercise. It brings our inner child to the surface thus making us feel happy, free, and even lighter. Yes, play is healthy for us. It gives us a connection to other people, our community, and our environment. Playing satisfies our curiosity. Playing is just plain fun. Generally, when we play we wind up laughing. Everyone knows that laughter is contagious. It puts us all in better frames of mind. It makes us feel good from the inside out.
Do you take time to play? Do you have any hobbies or activities that you engage in on a regular basis? Do you swim, hike, or play golf? D you sew, wood work, paint, or write? What do you do for fun? Taking time to act like a child is not a waste of time. It is a necessary nutrient to a healthy lifestyle. There’s no need to turn it into a major competition. Just take it from dogs and small children and enjoy it for the fun it is.
One of the virtues of being very young is that you don’t let the facts get in the way of your imagination. ~Sam Levenson