Wednesday, August 28, 2013


How does the saying go? "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Or something like that. Well, I need more play. 

I read the book Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, by Stuart Brown. He submits that the opposite of play is not work; it's depression. That was a new concept to me. Surely, if I'm not playing then I must be working, right? But he points out that work and play are not enemies. We can make work playful by finding the fun. And we can work harder if our lives include play.

For several months I've battled depression, again. I've puzzled over that, since my depression decreased dramatically when I gave up refined sugar twelve years ago! Why was it back? I think in part due to the emotional "demons" I am working through, but now I realize the lack of play certainly "plays" a part.

I made a list of activities I enjoyed as a child. 
  • hula hoop (I was the unofficial champion while in the sixth grade.)
  • hopscotch
  • swinging
  • marbles
  • coloring
  • roller skating (I used to have the old metal kind that clamped to my saddle shoes, and wore the "key" dangling on a shoestring around my neck.)
  • tether ball
  • hide-and-seek
  • kick the can
  • pretending to travel (I still have my mother's alligator cosmetic case I used as my "luggage.")
  • pretending to be the Romper Room lady 
  • pretending to be the weather person on TV (That was back in the day when they drew the clouds and sun on the big map.)
The challenge is to recapture those activities, or find other recreation that gives the same sensation or satisfaction. For instance, rather than playing hide-and-seek, I could go on an outing to seek out hidden treasures in my community, or go on a video scavenger hunt.

But the biggest challenge is to tell my adult task-oriented self to walk away (or run!) from the to-do lists and go play.


  1. I love stickers and use them in my journal and for motivation charts. My kids say I've entered my second childhood. Hurrah for me!

    Are you getting a little sunshine every day too? Kids are not afraid to play Outside, thus getting enough vitamin D the natural way.

    Notice how many of your favorite childhood activities are outdoor games. I think you should wear a short top and let your belly show too! Just for fun!

    1. You are right, Lynn, I need to get outside more, even if for a little bit each day.

      I loved what you said about the short top and showing my made me laugh!