“Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.”
Kay Redfield Jamison, Contemporary American Professor of Psychiatry
When I found the above quote I really liked it. I agree with this quote but I also believe that it’s not only children who need to play but people of all ages.. No matter how old or how young we are, we all need to take the time to play. It helps us to relax, to get to know ourselves better, and it allows our creativity to blossom.
When you look at your day or week how much time is left to play? Can you arrange your schedule to allow time to play? I was someone who forgot how to play for a long time. I became so absorbed in my job that I forgot to leave time for me. It was only after retiring, that I realized that I hadn’t seen the sun rise or set for a very long time. I went to work in the dark and came home in the dark not because I had to but because I had become so consumed with my job. I had not really enjoyed the change of seasons or just relaxed unless I went away on trip for the specific purpose of relaxing or seeing the color of the leaves. If I had built some time for play into my life, I am sure I would have felt better and probably would have been much more productive.
It is easy, even when you are retired, to become so involved in projects that you forget to take time for yourself and to play. I made that mistake once but I am trying not to do it again. Now, I make sure there is time to do something just for me every day. When I paint, I feel like I am playing. When I write, I feel like I am playing. And when I am taking pictures I can get lost for hours just playing with my camera. It would be easy for me to become too serious about any one of these things. I tend to like things to be perfect. But when I see that happening I step back, take a deep breath, and remember how much more fun it is to play than it is to be perfect. Then I pick up the paintbrush, the pen, or the camera and begin to play once again.
How do you play? Playing is not something that comes naturally to me so I would love to know what you think of as play.
I wrote this piece for April's Creative Dream Journal . The theme of course was play.