February 11, 2011

P L A Y - not just for kids

Nearly everyone of us starts out playing quite naturally. But what happens when we get older that we're made to feel guilty for playing? Unless we are being productive, developing a skill, or making money, then we feel we shouldn't be doing it.

Actually the opposite is true-by bringing more play into our lives we become more productive and happier in everything that we do.

Play is critical in sustaining social relationships, being creative, and most importantly- being happy. It allows us to discover our most essential selves and our world and has been built into us through millions of years of evolution. We're designed to find fulfillment and creative growth through play.

Imagine a world without play. That means no books, movies, sports, music, art, flirting, daydreaming, no comedy, no stories. Life would be pretty grim without play. It is now even recognised in the workplace with ping pong tables going into lunch rooms, planned activities to build up staff morale, and employees engaging in social events outside of work.

I believe life without play is a grinding, mechanical existence where we only do things necessary for our survival. When you open your eyes to it, play is everywhere. It can be dancing, visiting friends, surfing, playing in the rain, reading a book, bouncing a ball, dirt bike riding, jumping on a trampoline, or daydreaming about your future hopes and dreams. Play opens up a world of possibilities and finds us doing things just for the heck of it.

So, whether play means to you gardening or bungee jumping, make sure you find time to play because the best memories we have are usually moments of play.


Sally Rippin said...

Lovely piece, Renee. I'm a strong advocate of the importance of play.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your comment, Sally. The importance of play seems to be shoved aside as a culture. Children are being bred into mini genius's and being forced into extra activities six days a week. It's difficult for kids today, to just be.

I really focused on play myself over the weekend and I can sincerely say that I was happier. I went for a ride on the back of a jetski, just for the heck of it. It was great, even if my husband did yell, 'See that Shark!'

Katrina Germein said...

Hi Renee,
Thanks for your email this week.
I agree. Play is essential :)

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Hi there! I'm a fellow picture book author and found your blog through Megan Bickel. Nice to meet you!

Unknown said...

Hi Susanna,
Lovely to meet you. I had a quick look at your books this morning. My daughter and I watched the book trailer of your gorgeous book, Can't Sleep Without Sheep. She was cracking up laughing at the change of music and the animals trying to help Ava sleep.

I'll be returning to your blog for sure!

Unknown said...

Hi Katrina,
Thank you for visiting my blog. Your blog has so many great idea's with writing picture books. :-)

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

I'm so glad your daughter enjoyed the book trailer! My daughter made it :)