Monday, July 25, 2011

Just Playing

No doubt about it: our life experience is replete with lessons, often in the form of repeated messages of the same theme - until we "get it". For someone thick (as I most definitely am) more often than not those messages must be repeated ad nauseum - literally beating me about the head with them - before it all finally sinks in! :)

Take, for instance, the lesson of how important play is!

First lesson graciously offered to me, just a few weeks back: TED Fellow Isabel Behncke's TED talk "Evolution's Gift of Play, from Bonobo Apes to Humans".

Second lesson offered raucously spur of the moment, but also somehow graciously, by my own son just last night as he comes bursting in from outside at 8:30pm at night: "Hey, Mom - wanna go swimming with me now?" Our pool closes at 9pm!!

And then, this morning's "Monday Motivators" e-zine by Joan Burge titled "Playtime for Adults", wherein Joan shares this link "Power Play: Getting Into Goofing Off"!

I'm embarrassed to say it wasn't until this morning's e-zine read that I finally Got It! All the recent opportunities to learn about play I had been offered - and had remained stubbornly obtuse to!

I'm also embarrassed (and more than a little saddened) to admit I, of course, turned down my son's offer to swim (AKA "play")! Why? Well after all, by the time I'd change and drive down there, we'd barely have 15 minutes to swim if lucky! And besides, my knees ached, my back ached, my feet hurt... Let's be honest, I was generally determined to be "old", full of self-pity and misery and completely and resolutely incapable of spontaneity or fun!

I should have gone swimming with my son. So what if we only ended up with 15 minutes of actual swimming? So what if everything hurt? And so what if everything hurting made me move even slower than I normally do? He was willing to wait patiently. Even to help. So why wasn't I? What was I afraid of? Ending up even more exhausted than I was? Looking foolish? Looking frail? Seriously? I'm nearing 60. Do I really need to worry about what I look like to others at this late stage?

These musings got me to wondering:  when was the last time I had fun? Well, I did go to see Harry Potter with my son this weekend. We both totally loved it, and yes, we did have a good time together. But when was the last time I truly had a rip-roaring good time? You know, when I laughed so hard with a good friend, over nothing at all, till the tears were streaming down our faces? If I'm honest, that was about 2.5 years ago! When was the last time I got so into play, that I totally lost track of time - and myself? When was the last time I daydreamed? Or got into mischief? Or got lost, and enjoyed the experience? Or talked into the wee hours of the morning, because the company was just that good? I have memories of all these things. When did all that action, all that living, cease and turn into mere memories?

No doubt about it - I've become so adept at being a responsible adult I've completely forgotten how to have fun! And that is a crime. A crime I must correct immediately. Next time my son comes in with something spontaneous and completely illogical, I'm going to try my very best to resist being a "responsible adult"! God help me, please! I'm going to try my best to have FUN! Aching joints be damned!


The Phosgene Kid said...

All misery and no fun makes Jill a dull girl.

The Phosgene Kid said...

Lesson number two: Never golf in an electrical storm.

Middle Child said...

The beauty in my husband was that as serious and adult things were he never left the child behind and was always ready for mischief - with him by my side I was the same and the kids said it was wonderful - we are still silly when together - but too long inbetween these days