It’s About Play

Do you go out to play? When was the last time someone knocked on your door and asked you out to play? When you are on vacation, are you able to leave the office, the Blackberry, Palm, or the cell phone behind?

When was the last time you allowed yourself to restore or re-create yourself?

In the movie Mary Poppins, Michael’s banker Dad tells a joke to the elder owner of the bank when he’s called on the carpet for bringing the kids to the bank during the workday. Dad gets fired, then the elder ends up dying laughing when he recalls a joke that young Michael told his Dad who in turn told the bank board when he gets the boot. In the end, Dad is welcomed back, but not without a major lesson … a little fun now and then is good for the soul.

Laughing, as in laughing out of control, is taboo in most workplaces. Too many feel that goofing off is a sign of irresponsibility … it’s frivolous, time-wasting and only slackers would engage in such a thing.

When was the last time you did something for simply the joy of it; playing hooking and watching movies you love; going dancing or taking in a concert and jumping up and down with the crowd; dancing for the sake of just moving the body; or how about skipping rocks across a lake?

Don’t you sometimes just want to play a little hooky once in a while?

Adults need to come out and play.

It’s too easy to lose perspective. We say that we want balance, to be healthy, happy, spend time with our families. So, what does it take to he healthy and happy? Working more hours? Buying more stuff? I bet not.

If you were queried about what it would take to get in balance, many items on this list would likely pop up: take great vacations, get more sleep, eat well, reduce junk food intake, set goals, drink more water, have routine check-ups and the appropriate tests that go with your age, exercise regularly, relax more, be loved, have great relationships with family, friends, spouse, partner, reduce stress, laugh more, learn more, find time for self, and play. Easy list to put together. The problem is, most of us are all talk and little action.

It’s easy to pay lip-service to desiring balance in your work and personal life. Sounds good—one of the media (TV, Radio, Print, Internet) is always profiling some brilliant person who has it all—great family, fantastic job, money beyond needs—it makes such a good story. So glizzy and powerful, yet is it really real? Probably not.

You need a break. What do you need to say to yourself to get it? To allow yourself that break for renewal, for surrounding yourself with things/people that inspire, support and relax you.

If, and it’s a BIG if, you can find those resources, I’ll guarantee you’ll come back healthier, stronger, more energetic, an improved perspective of what’s important AND, if your work is the work you should be doing, an invigorative renewal to it.

No where does it say that everyone, everything will stop so that you can recharge. Nope, you’ve got to say, “I need to stop, I need to refill and refuel myself.”

Too often, we think everything we do is important, necessary and critical to success. Some things are, but not all. Many think that they are dispensable. Do you? If you answer “yes”, think again.

Try putting your finger into a glass of water. Take it out. Observe the hole your finger left. Note, there is none. Sure, it could be bumpy a bit if you weren’t around for a few days … but indispensable? … rarely. The world will not stop.

We all know that kids need to get out and play and they are mostly likely to do a variety of things in their play mode as they fill their days. Why do adults think they are that much different? We adults NEED to play. If we don’t, we can lose our perspective.

So, how do you play? Who are your playmates? What time do you set aside
just for restorative play? Or, do you have an unwritten contract with yourself, your friends, that you don’t play? Or that you limit your “laughs” to after work over a drink or two? If so, dump it.

The Holidays are here. Relax a bit. Spend fun time with those you really like to be around vs. those you have to be around. Play. Have fun. Laugh. Skip. Read something new that has nothing to do with work. See a play or musical. Check out Mel Brooks’ old movie, The Producers. Let down. Wear your PJs and play cards and games with the kids. Breathe deeply. Be silly. It’s good for you. And for your work.

Merry Christmas–

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