Play, while made up of four letters, is not a 4 letter word — but many of us treat it as if it were.
Play: a range of voluntary, intrinsically motivated activities that are normally associated with pleasure and enjoyment. (Garvey, 1990)
Recreation: from Latin recreatio restoration to health, from recreare to create anew, restore, refresh. (Webster)
What delicious thoughts! Intrinsically motivated. Pleasure. Restoration. Refresh.
Um, yes please!
We’re very serious in today’s society. Focused on the bottom line, what letters we can string together after our names and what the Jones’ have that surely, we must have too. And bigger seems to always be better, and more seems to be the only answer.
Hmmmmm, more. Why not:
- more laughter
- more joy
- more time connecting with our kids instead of driving them to this or that
- more depth in our friendships
- more connections with our community
- more time in nature
- more creativity
- more work – life balance
- more life in living…
Are you one of those studious types that needs a little scientific evidence to set you on a path? OK. I understand. Check out:
- The Serious Need for Play (Scientific American)
If you want more — just let me know. But I think if you do one simple thing, you will convince yourself of the power of play. Go do something you love. Let your hair down and play. When you are done, take time to reflect.
How do you feel? How are your interactions with others? How is your creativity level or ability to problem solve? I bet I can guess, and I bet you can too.
Give yourself permission to play. Be proud of it. Play as if your life depends on it, because truly, it does. (And don’t worry, nobody will take your Adult Card!)
I think Descartes didn’t go far enough. I play, therefore I live has a nice ring to it, I think.
Now if you will excuse me, I am off to bust a play move. I need a good belly laugh and to feel the wind on my face.