I think that it is a privilege to be a parent, or have children in your life in some way, as they remind you that play time is important and often times help you recapture a little fun that sometimes gets lost by the wayside.
It helps you relook at the world through children’s eyes and seeing the joy that they have at eating an ice-cream, or climbing a tree, or imagining the road is a great big river that needs crossing, or making use of the adult gym equipment...
It reminds of you of little memories that get tucked away in the recesses of your mind about when you were a child, yes the moments of joy like completing a jigsaw with your grandmother, or escaping the world into a good book, or hide and seek and so many more things.
It reminds you of how important play time and fun is, as sometimes with the hectic lifestyles we lead, our fun becomes slouching on the sofa and watching television, which is fair enough is that is what you want to do, but I’d class that as fun, but not play.
It's a common misconception that play is just for children. As adults, we tend to get uptight and forget how to relax and the play is the remedy to that. Play and laughter are the remedies to stress.
Children laugh so many times a day.
Just yesterday, I was playing this really seriously unfunny video, but because the narrator was really enthusiastic, my daughter found it hilarious.
Sometimes you just need to drop all the defenses and let your hair down, every day, at least once a day. Even if its a fake laugh, laugh at your fake laugh.
What do I do to play?
I join in when I can with the girls, although playing any card or board game tends to get a little fraught as someone has to win and we’ve not quite mastered the ‘it’s the playing of the game that matters, not the winning’.
I bought a jigsaw the other day in memory of my grandmother, but I’ve not started it yet, or got lost in a good book for a while that I have had to finish in one sitting. Just a couple of thoughts that come to mind.
Another thing that I do is mindfulness that is to say that I immerse myself in the moment, no thoughts about the past or worries about the future, just focusing solely on what I’m doing, whether that’s a cold shower to shock the senses, enjoying every mouthful of a luxurious treat, or … (no I won’t utter that one out loud just now lol).
But you know what, thinking about this question, from my own definition of play, I don’t play nearly enough and I can’t pinpoint any play activities that I do on my own.
I try to find things to laugh about every day, but that’s not really enough.
I used to do a lot of crafting, but that’s not really play either, it's relaxing, but it's not doing it for the sheer unadulterated abandonment of fun.
Just picking up something and doing it for the reason of fun, no perfection, no rhyme or reason, just for the sake of doing it.
I have rare moments of play, but that are far and few between. I will read with interest other people’s take on this question to get inspiration and ideas.
I think I need to be more spontaneous and if I want to hug a tree or jump on the zip line when the park is full of people, I should and will. I might even have a go on the inflatable slide (if adults are allowed).
Do you make time for play and what does it mean to you?
With <3 @hopehuggs