Finding Time to Play

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Truth by told, I love to swing. I can spend hours dangling underneath the branches of an old Oak tree on a rope swing communing with nature and resetting my balance. Just me and the sky, legs pumping and arms pulling against the ropes to see how high and I can reach; trying in earnest to touch the sky. To this day, it is an exhilarating experience for me.

But I don’t get to do it much, anymore.

Taking time, err, making time to play doesn’t get the priority it deserves. For kids and adults alike, that time on the playground of life allows us to disconnect from the rote duty and responsibilities of the day and reenergize ourselves. It is that little respite in the middle of the otherwise orderly and scheduled day that allows our brains to rest, our minds to open up to see the world and let in new ways of viewing people, problems and opportunities.

I grew up just a block or so away from a playground. Walking there and plopping myself on a swing was an easy jaunt and a quick escape to my troubles. I could settle myself on a swing – or lie on my back on a merry-go-round, staring up into the sky – and solve the problems of the day. Fifteen minutes of serious reach-for-the-sky swinging, and I could find my perspective. If I was really frustrated, I’d push the merry-go-round as hard as I could, jump on and then just like back and feel the emotion spin away as I dizzily stared up into the sky. It might take a few times to pushing and jumping on and off, but either exhaustion or peace would eventually win and I’d return home with a renewed perspective.

Today’s world needs more play time. More recess in our days to disconnect, ever so briefly, to experience the joy of a tummy-tickling laugh and the breeze of the day on our face. To put perspective into our day and rediscover our center. The daily grind won’t give it to you and if you don’t make it a priority for yourself, it won’t happen.  You’ll be the same burnt-out mess I find staring back at myself from the mirror.  The 24/7 connectivity of our world puts ridiculous demands on us all; it’s ok to block 30 minutes in Outlook for yourself.  You’ll be better for it!

I challenge you, today, to find your moment to take a walk, pull a yo-yo out of your bottom drawer or escape to your backyard and swing for a moment. Do a conference call from your deck and breathe in the crisp autumn air! Eat lunch outdoors instead of at your desk. Life is too sweet and too short to not make each and every moment count!

Today, find time to play!

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