Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “It is a happy talent to know how to play.” What a wise man. Play is an essential part of a happy life. Look around you at the people who are genuinely happy, relaxed and content with their lives. With very few exceptions (if any), you will find those people know how to play, to be silly, to have fun.
I must admit I am guilty, at times, of forgetting how to play. Have you forgotten how to play? Do you know when you stopped playing? I don’t. It just seemed that one day I awakened to the realization that I no longer played. Why do we forget to play? Why does it become unimportant or unfashionable to play? Many questions to which we may never find the answers.
So try this – take out your calendar and find a block of time (at least an hour) when you can promise to do ‘nothing.’ Now, decide where to do this ‘nothing.’ Maybe alone in a park, or at home with the children or pets or spouse will be the best place. Where is not important; what is important is that the place is someplace you are comfortable doing ‘nothing.’ Then, let nature take its course…before you know it, you will be playing with each other, whether it’s a game of peek-a-boo with the baby or tug-of-war with the dog or swinging alone on the swings at the park and your stress will melt away almost magically.
Remember to include crafting in your definition of play as you continue to explore this phenomenon. Remember, finger painting and string art and coloring? It’s not that big of a stretch to canvas art and crochet and knitting – take a class, dig out those hooks and needles, crayons and coloring books, relax – PLAY a little every day!!!