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.)
- 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
- 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.)
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.