Playtime

10 07 2013

One of the things that’s been the most disconcerting, in the little over a year since I quit my day job, is that I don’t have to “accomplish” something every day.  Accustomed to deadlines and deliverables, I found myself setting arbitrary goals (or – worse – not setting goals,) feeling like I should be getting (some undefined, unnamed) something done.

With faux goals or no goals, how could I expect to feel anything but failure?  I couldn’t.  I was always just a little bit uncomfortable, a little bit unhappy.

Finally, I was forced to face my eye-on-the-finish-line bogeyman.   A friend with a talent for creating beautiful works of art, using a far-flung assortment of media invited me to play – not to do a project, not to achieve a goal, not to finish a whatever – just to spend a day in her studio, playing with stuff.  I was dumbfounded, nervous, uneasy, and unsure, but I tried it. It was a revelation.

No matter how old we grow, we always need a little time on the playground.  The freedom to let our muse run around, holler at the top of her voice, dance the Macarena, is not a luxury; it is as important as a good night’s sleep or well-deployed chocolate to keep us functioning at our best. Things that truly must be accomplished are much easier conquered after a little recess.

Oh, is that the bell?  Last one to the monkey bars is a rotten egg!

embroidery padded chain

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8 responses

10 07 2013
Paul Grecian

I was quite surprised how difficult the transition was in going from a structured office environment to being totally responsible for my own production and time management. Maybe I just needed to plug in some playtime?

10 07 2013
scorchedeyebrowstudio

Paul, it is harder, I think, to take time off when you don’t have an external boss to ask for it.

10 07 2013
Kevin

Monkey bars… Are they still allowed, or have they been deemed a threat to public safety ;-)? Always a good read, Paula….

10 07 2013
scorchedeyebrowstudio

Kevin, that is one of the joys of adulthood – assumption of risk is always a choice. Thanks for reading!

13 07 2013
janice

I agree with Kevin, Always a pleasure to read. And I enjoy getting to know you a little better;)
I plan to retire in Dec. and have been slowly easing into this next Huge phase, which helps with the transition. But I am dreading not having a “purpose”, which I know deep down is a bunch of Hooey. I can make or find my “purpose” – but I’m still nervous. So I will reply on my wonderful and wise friends who have gone before me.
Get ready XO

13 07 2013
scorchedeyebrowstudio

You can do it, Janice. Hard to believe, but it’s true – our purpose is to be ourselves. The other stuff is story we tell ourselves to keep us from giggling all the time about how much fun life is!

24 07 2013
Ruth Jensen

Great post. The fact that playtime is a necessity is so ignored by most adults. But as my 6th grade teacher said, we are human BEings, not human DOings.

31 07 2013
scorchedeyebrowstudio

Excellent point, Ruth. Thanks.

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