Play. Do you remember that word? It was a magical time as a kid where you could be and do anything you wanted to. In the words of Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus, “Take chances, Make Mistakes, Get Messy.” Play allowed all of this and so much more. However, as we grew up play became separate from our life. For example, school clothes were for most of your day while your play clothes were only used briefly. Boy, did we put in work when the play clothes came out; digging in the dirt, hula hopping, or just building an imaginary Barbie world. I have realized play time kept getting shorter and shorter and is at the point where I no longer have play clothes at all. I have “work out clothes” or “yard work clothes”…. no play clothes because as an adult I don’t play. That is for children.
I’ve had a lot of time to think while on my honeymoon and have been reflecting on this loss of play in my life. Things are so serious. Everything is directed towards achievements and maintenance. As you can imagine this makes for a grumpy, stressed out Elise. Not what I want or, frankly, what I was designed to be. I decided while in Miami that play needs to be reintroduced, not just for recess time, but in all things. As stated in previous posts, we are told to “be as a child,” and in that innocence is truly living.
This notion came upon me while my husband and I were at the zoo. It was a lot of work, and money, to get there. I was worried about our schedule and budget. Then…. it started to rain, like torrential down pour rain. We hid under our tiny umbrella and then under a gazebo with other families. I, like I do, was listening to other peoples observations of the storm. People were frustrated, complaining, and fussing about how long it would take for it to stop raining. Somehow my mind silenced and drifted to a childhood memory of playing in the rain. It was such a carefree and effortless moment in my life; it was magic. Greg and I made the decision to leave the safety and security of the gazebo; we took a private tour of the zoo, playing in the rain. It is ironic how adults can take the gift of rain or time and make it work. Life is not work, it can be effortless if you just get out and play in the rain.
I did all other kinds of playful things in Miami but was worried about how I could bring this feeling back with me to my real life. I decided to be intentional in creating playfulness in my every day life. I am allowing myself to smile and giggle when my husband kisses me. I was inspired by my niece to paint without direction and have no qualms about expressing my emotions during the process. This morning in my yoga practice I focused on how I felt and redirected my patronizing thoughts to playing with my body. As a kid we fell all the time, and God forbid, laughed about it. I am aiming to reclaim the place were I allowed myself to play and experience humor in both success and failure.
Now go out and play. Get messy, make mistakes, and authentically embrace every moment of it.